The intensive science summer camps developed by STEM Learning and supported by Goldman Sachs Gives are already proving successful, as shown by a recent external evaluation completed by The Charity Spark.
Their evaluation report shows the positive impact the 18 camps have had on the year 10 and year 12 students who attended the schools across England.
The aim of the camps was to re-engage young people with classroom learning, improve their confidence and develop their science knowledge. This will then boost them ahead of entering their GCSE or A level exam year following the significant disruption they’ve faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds have been particularly badly affected due to limited access to resources such as digital devices and the Internet.
The project has already achieved significant outcomes for young people including re-engagement with learning, developing a deeper and stronger core of scientific knowledge and increased mental health benefits from face-to-face interactions with peers and teachers.
The Deputy Head Teacher of Da Vinci Academy in Derby explained the impact on his group of young people: “Our new year 11 group have had a tough run-up to their exams so the opportunity provided by the summer camp to give them a chance to catch up and start the New Year positively was not to be missed.”
The impact on teachers and schools has also been significant, with teachers benefiting from face-to-face interaction to subject experts. This learning has been embedded in their own practice, improving outcomes for all in the school.
Charlotte Keenan, Head of the Office of Corporate Engagement International at Goldman Sachs, said: “Goldman Sachs Gives is proud to support the work of STEM Learning. COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to the teaching of children and young people across the UK, and the support these young people have received through STEM Learning’s Summer Camps has been crucial in mitigating the potential long-term impacts of the pandemic. Education is essential to achieving a diverse and inclusive STEM workforce, something Goldman Sachs Gives is incredibly committed to.”
Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive at STEM Learning, said, “We are indebted to Goldman Sachs Gives for supporting this new initiative created in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19. The camps have made a real difference to the students, teachers, and schools involved. They have re-engaged young people in the crucial period ahead of external exams and enabled them to engage in practical as well as classroom learning – something they have missed out on for so many months. This is a great example of how businesses and education can work together to embed STEM into a school’s DNA.”
For more information on the evaluation, including a series of case studies from a selection of the participating schools, please visit our impact and evaluation page.