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University of London Taster Days

The University of London organises a huge range of year 12 taster days in almost every subject at various universities across London. They are great opportunities to spend a day experiencing university life – you will generally attend some talks, example lectures, a lab session, and have the chance to explore the university too. Taster days enable to to find out whether a particular course is suitable for you, as well as giving you a Read more…

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What additional skills do STEM students need?

STEM degrees are generally highly respected, but for those STEM students looking to go into industry rather than academic research what additional skills would be helpful? Languages Languages are helpful to anyone, of any age or career. They open up job or travel opportunities abroad as well as making you a valuable asset to any internationally facing business. Many students will learn a language at school, so keeping this up at university could put them Read more…

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10 STEM subjects they don’t teach in school!

The standard school curriculum will include physics, chemistry, biology, maths and IT. However there are plenty of other related degree subjects STEM students may be interested in, see below. 1. Engineering If you’re interested in physics and maths, but want to contribute towards real-life projects, engineering could be for you. Engineering degrees may be general or specialist, and many start off with a general first year before students decide which engineering discipline (e.g. chemical, mechanical, Read more…

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A quick guide to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are courses offered online for anyone to take, usually for free. The courses generally consist of short video lectures followed by short quiz questions, and are usually produced in collaboration with leading universities worldwide. All kinds of subjects are available to study – including most STEM subjects.   There are a whole range of MOOC providers, each with their own set up and advantages. Below is a short summary of Read more…

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European Space Camp 2016

This week-long camp in July gives students from any country (not just Europe) aged 17-20 the opportunity to learn about Space Physics and Engineering at a real, active rocket range in Norway. Participants attend a variety of inspirational talks, exciting practical workshops, tours, social activities and their very own rocket launch! Fun competitions such as mini rocket races and engineering challenges keep students entertained, while they also have opportunities to learn from top researchers about Read more…

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Guest Blog: Arkwright Scholarship

The Arkwright Scholarships Trust awarded me an engineering scholarship at the end of my fourth year of secondary school (in Scotland, equivalent to year 11 in England and Wales, and year 12 in Northern Ireland) after I made an application around Christmas time. The selection process involved first being nominated by my school (which involved researching and delivering a presentation of different touch screen technologies), before filling out an online form. I then sat an Read more…

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What can schools do to help students explore their interests in STEM subjects?

School is probably the first place where students first learnt about STEM subjects and, unless their parents are working in a STEM industry, it is likely that they haven’t been exposed to much STEM outside of school. Therefore, school is a great place to start getting students engaged in STEM subjects. Here are a few suggestions: STEM clubs Running a fun STEM club at school can be a great way to encourage students to take Read more…

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What can I do in the first summer of my degree?

There are often limited internship opportunities for first year students, so what else can you do with your long summer holiday to help you in your STEM career? Some suggestions are listed below, and don’t forget to check out the database! This advice is also valid for students in later years who aren’t planning on completing an internship this summer. Summer Courses Although you usually hear of summer courses for pre-university students, there are also Read more…

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Do I need to spend a fortune?

If you search online for STEM opportunities, particularly for summer schools, you may find that many cost several thousands of pounds and are run by profit making organisations – but don’t fear, you don’t need to start taking out loans to pay for such courses. Is it really necessary? All these courses claim to be ‘essential’ for successful university applications to top universities – but this really isn’t the case. There are a huge range Read more…

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When should I start planning for university?

Well, the easy answer is that’s it’s never too early! The recommendations below are based upon the UK GCSE and A level system. Early Secondary School At this stage, students have no or very little choice in what subjects they study. However, it is still a great time to start exploring what you are interested in – for example through fun home science experiments, visiting a local science festival or participating in a school STEM Read more…