Food for thought, right here…
Food: We all need it to survive; we all use it to celebrate, commiserate and commemorate. Why not let food be the focus of our school curriculum, from which all other subjects – physics, chemistry, social sciences, PSHE – feed?
Dr Christian Nansen argues that food, as an educational denominator, can address societal challenges, elevate levels of empowerment and teach our children everything they need to know about maths, engineering, life sciences – essentially all school subjects and more.
In this issue, we feature 21 research projects that give your students plenty of food for thought. Some of these projects directly relate to food and agriculture; others tackle key societal challenges such as health and wellbeing, and sustainable energy. Above all, the researchers’ passion for STEM and STEAMM education shines through in all 21 of these projects.
As Prof Stephen Self says: “You should be prepared to take STEM courses because they essentially underpin many other subjects.”
What happens when geology meets chemistry?
How does interdisciplinary research translate in the classroom? One way to view it is to see it in the context of cross-curricular learning. Even though school curriculums tend to require teachers to teach their subjects in silos, there are lots of benefits to cross-curricular learning: one being that students learn how to see the world holistically.
We hope that the research projects in this issue will provide your students with enough inspiration to view the world holistically; to see that some problems need a team of engineers, chemists and psychologists to solve them.
As economist Prof Sayantan Ghosal says in his article (p12), “Try not to get too bogged down in maths – the primary concern behind economics is attempting to understand the world around you.”
Do something amazing. Become a citizen scientist
Without citizen scientists, many research projects wouldn’t get off the ground. Citizen scientists help researchers collect and explore huge data sets, which might need the involvement of thousands of people, or data from people all over the world, or to cover huge distances. What’s key is that citizen scientists don’t need a science qualification. Anyone – and that means you – can participate. In this mag, there are lots of ideas for citizen science. For example, you could:
• Comb the beaches for microplastics
• Classify glitches in space
• Spread facts about biosecurity so diseases don’t spread
• Join a youth jury and advise the government on cyber safety
But, whatever you’re interested in, a simple internet search will have you involved in wildlife surveys, monitoring noise pollution, counting passing meteors – you name it –, a research project that is just right for you!
Where will STEAMM take you?
Social Mobility and the Sciences