Each year it is so encouraging to not only see schools that have really captured a whole school approach to engaging students in science through their successive Award applications, but also to see schools that are starting out this journey for the first time with a just few of their classes.

To ensure that we continue to recognise all this effort, two awards are available:

  • A Certificate of STEM work in School
  • A Plaque of STEM Excellence for deeper engagement, whole school involvement and external science engagement

For an introduction to the awards, see the Awards Toolkit series of tutorials.

 

SFI Discover Science & Maths Plaque of STEM Excellence

Involve most classes i.e. more than half the number of classes in the school in some aspect of the steps outlined below e.g. investigations, using ICT and maths, trips, speaker visits, presenting at or attending the science open day in the school or other events.

SFI Discover Science & Maths Certificate of STEM

Suitable for schools starting out on the STEM journey.  A minimum of two classes must participate.

See the Awards Toolkit for assistance with this step.

Provide evidence of the children engaging in hands-on science investigations in school (indoors or outdoors). You can come up with your own ideas for investigations. You can use the DPSM classroom activities guideESERO Ireland STEM activities, or any other resources available to you.

DPSM CERTIFICATE OF STEM

3 hands-on science investigations. These can be from any of the four strands:

  • Living things
  • Energy and forces
  • Materials
  • Environmental awareness and care

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

6 hands-on science investigations, with at least one from each of the four strands. These can be from any of the four strands:

  • Living things
  • Energy and forces
  • Materials
  • Environmental awareness and care

AND (choose from one or more of the following)

  • Invite a science speaker to your school or visit a Discover Centre
  • Participate in science events or projects run by other organisations
  • Attend or host a Science Week event
  • Attend or host a Space Week event

See the Awards Toolkit for assistance with this step.

Provide evidence of how the children used technology as part of their school work. By technology in this step we mean Information Communications Technologies [ICT].

DPSM CERTIFICATE OF STEM

1 or more examples of the children using ICT

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

2 or more examples of the children using ICT

The following are some examples of ICT:

  • Participate in the Irish Computer Society Scratch programme. Resources can also be found here.
  • Evidence of the students developing a blog, website or video
  • Use technology to record and analyse data collected e.g. a spreadsheet or graph
  • Use Skype to collaborate with children in another school(s) or to interview a scientist or engineer
  • Use technology to access a range of science/engineering/maths information
  • Evidence of the students developing a PowerPoint presentation
  • Take part in EU Code Week
  • Learn to code with Hour of Code
  • Take part in Safer Internet Day
  • Get involved in the FIRST LEGO League. More information is available here.
  • Get involved in Coder Dojo

See the Awards Toolkit for assistance with this step.

Provide evidence of how children investigated engineering in class or in the local area.

DPSM CERTIFICATE OF STEM

1 or more examples of the children investigating engineering in class or in the local area.

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

2 or more examples of the children investigating engineering in class or in the local area.

The following are some examples of Engineering:

  • Check out the Engineers Week section on this website for ideas to use in your classroom.
  • Design and make activity e.g. making models (exploring, planning, designing, making, evaluating). See a list of activites here. Some activities include: design a bridge, a boat, a rocket, a water pump, a catapult.
  • Invite an engineer to the school to speak to the children about their work
  • Investigate engineering in your local area e.g. a bridge, a factory, a wind farm
  • Attend or host an Engineers' Week event
  • See more resources on the STEPS/Engineers Ireland website.

See the Awards Toolkit for assistance with this step.

Provide evidence of how the children used their maths skills.

DPSM CERTIFICATE OF STEM

1 or more examples of the children using their maths skills as part of their science work

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

2 or more examples of the children using their maths skills as part of their science work

The following are some examples of Maths:

  • Using maths skills and knowledge as part of science e.g. measuring distances, capacity, weight, recording and analysing data. Using maths operations; ratio, percentages, averages. Activities can be found here
  • Use maths to record your science investigation results where appropriate
  • Attend a Maths Week event.
  • Develop a maths trail around school. Click here for some examples.
  • Other useful Maths resources:

- Khan Academy 
- JUMP Math 
- Calmast 

See the Awards Toolkit for assistance with this step.

Provide evidence that the children have presented and explained their STEM work to others (beyond their own class)

DPSM CERTIFICATE OF STEM AND DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Show evidence of the children presenting their science work to other classes in the school
  • Hold a science open day or evening to present your work for the school, parents or the wider community
  • Participate in a joint science event with another school where students showcase their work
  • Take part in any science fair where the children can present and discuss their work eg RDS Science Fair, Intel Mini Science Fair, Limerick Education Centre Junior Scientist Science Fair etc.