The ‘gamification’ of learning is proving to be a highly successful method of engaging pupils across all subjects and can easily be applied to a wide range of classroom activities to great effect.
The core requirement is a carefully structured and varied pace, with bursts of high speed and timed challenges, supported by varying difficulty levels and progressively challenging targets. Motivation levels soar if pupils can achieve immediate and long-term rewards, which can be as simple as points to accumulate and records to beat.
But, to make a real difference, students need to be fully engaged in a challenge they see as relevant. One in which they are actively solving problems, communicating with others and developing a sense of personal achievement.
The Real STEM Competition is designed to achieve this for up to 72 pupils in a day and is delivered on the school site – so there is no travel required. Six teams of six pupils compete in a double lesson session that is repeated for a different group after break or lunch – minimalising disruption to the timetable.
This year’s competition is ‘Space Pioneers’ – which reinforces and expands upon the new KS3 & KS4 science curriculum content within a thrilling scenario of a mission to Mars. It is an effective way to deliver exciting activity weeks, holiday schools, transition events and enrichment days.
A specialist team run the event and, with a hugely experienced teacher leading the workshop, there is no need for school staff to be present. It allows class teachers to supervise lessons elsewhere, saving on the cost of a cover teacher for the day. Alternatively, teachers can choose to observe their students compete and then apply the proven strategies to future lessons.
Pupils play as part of a team, against tight deadlines and in a game-like context to develop a wide range skills so highly valued by universities and employers. Every participant will receive a certificate of achievement listing the skills developed and members of the winning team will be awarded a commemorative medal.
If your winning team achieves one of the top scores by Science Week 2018 the school will win a full-day workshop each term for a year, a Double STEM Workshop or STEM Box 1 – full of fabulous activities to run with multiple classes.
Schools entering the competition will receive performance reports for every participant and a free copy of the highly regarded ‘Caving Conundrum’ resource, which is a fabulous problem solving activity that can be run across Science, Geography and English.