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STEAM for Integrated Education: Otley Science Fair

Dr Briony Thomas 

School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Design 

Relevant ESRC Discipline:  Education 

The Covid-19 infodemic has highlighted that poor science literacy is an underestimated public health problem globally, calling attention to the importance of science education in the prevention of disease.  In partnership with Batley Multi Academy Trust, we are exploring the opportunities, priorities, and challenges for creative, interdisciplinary science literacy interventions through action research in schools.  Our approach combines STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education and co-design methods to create innovative classroom activities that aim to increase science literacy in infectious disease prevention and control.  This is an aspect of science education that is largely omitted from the UK curriculum until Key Stage 4. 

The activity will disseminate a range of our creative science activities through workshops and demonstrations at Otley Science Fair in November 2022.  We aim to engage with children and young people, families and local teachers through creative making activities, hands-on virus structure-function models and Augmented Reality, developed in partnership with schools.  Through these activities we aim to engage and inspire young people, and to increase understanding of the opportunities for creative STEAM learning activities in the classroom and at home.  We also aim to increase awareness of collaborative ways of working between schools and universities.