What we do:
Futurum Careers is a free online resource and magazine aimed at encouraging 14-19-year-olds worldwide to pursue careers in science, tech, engineering, maths, medicine (STEM) and research. We work with academics all over the world and translate their research into free education resources that can be used in the classroom, at home and in STEM and STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, social sciences, humanities and maths) clubs.
Why we do it:
We are passionate about STEM and STEAM education and we’re passionate about science communication. Why not combine the two?
Futurum is here because we want to help teachers deliver a high quality, broadened STEAM education that will invigorate their students’ desire to learn. We want to help scientists and researchers communicate their work to a global audience of teenagers, young adults and teachers. We want to offer teenagers and young adults – regardless of their gender, race of background – the knowledge and confidence to study STEAMM subjects – and, in turn, social mobility.
Our ultimate aim is to help students (and teachers help students) connect the subjects they are learning with real-world careers in STEAM. In the UK, Ofsted now ranks schools according to their application of Gatsby Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. When schools and teachers use our content, we can support them in meeting Gatsby Benchmarks 2, Learning from career and labour market information; 4, Linking curriculum learning to careers; 5 Encounters with employers and employees; and 7 Encounters with further and higher education. The US equivalent is the NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards.
Our mission is to enable researchers to inspire, teachers to motivate, and students to aspire.
How we work with researchers:
As the name Futurum suggests, we are always looking ahead, which is why we feel strongly about the importance of sharing knowledge and innovation, and why we ensure that research is communicated in an accessible and engaging manner, to an audience that is keen to learn.
We get to know our researchers’ work, use our expertise to craft teacher and student-friendly learning resources, and ensure our researchers are proud of the materials we share with the public on their behalf.
Increasing STEM skills is a global priority and Futurum is gratified by connecting experts from all over the world with the next generation of researchers. We ensure real impact is achieved by getting researcher’s work in front of teachers, from a source they trust and in a format they can use easily.
How we support teachers:
Every teacher wants to challenge their students and to pass on the passion for their subject that made them work in education in the first place. In the real world of heavy teaching timetables and minimal planning time, however, we know that teachers can struggle to provide learning experiences that broaden their students’ knowledge and understanding beyond the confines of exam specifications.
Our job is to provide free, stimulating and high-quality resources that enable teachers to stretch their students that little bit more, and take them beyond the classroom and into the innovative world of contemporary research.
The resources we provide for teachers foster engagement, curiosity and independent learning, while showcasing career options available to young people.
Meet the Futurum team
How to build a STEAM generation
So many of the researchers we work with mention LEGO. Whether they’re playing it with their children or reminiscing about the sets they played when they were children, LEGO crops up a lot. Dr Jenny Nash, Head of Education Impact (p4), provides us with a snapshot of LEGO Education’s latest initiatives, designed to help build the next generation of STEAM experts. Ollie Bray, LEGO Foundation’s Tech & Play and Playful Schools Lead (p8), explains the concept of the playful pedagogy, and why playful learning is just as important for secondary and high school students as it is for primary and elementary school pupils.
David Aguilar Amphoux shares his inspirational story about love, loss and living with a disability. He built his first prosthetic arm using LEGO when he was only 9 years old and wants to use his bioengineering skills to help others with disabilities.
Like David, the researchers in this issue are using their knowledge to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. They share their tips and expertise so that a new STEAM generation can follow in their footsteps.
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.
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