Do you want to explore your passion for a STEM subject or find a way to demonstrate it on your sixth form/ university application, but don’t want to spend too much time, effort or money? Here’s some easy ways to do so cheaply at home!
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are available online from a wide range of universities and providers for anyone to take, covering a huge range of subjects. They are usually free of charge (although if you want a shiny certificate you may wish to pay a small additional fee) and may be either fixed schedule or self-paced. They are a really great way of demonstrating the skills needed to study at university, since you must be self-motivated, work without supervision/ tutoring, and passionate about your subject.
MOOC providers I would particularly recommend are:
There are thousands of books out there on every STEM topic – from fun popular science books to university level textbooks. Your school library probably has a collection available to loan, as should most local public librarys. Alternatively, try browsing on Amazon or Ebay for some bargains! You don’t just have to limit yourself to books either, there are lots of science news websites and magazines such as the New Scientist too – just google what you’re interested in!
If you intend to write about your extra reading on your university application, make sure to discuss what in particular you found interesting or learnt – anyone can look up a few book names online, but by giving your own opinions you demonstrate you actually read and thought about the content.
Home Science Experiments
This is perhaps one for the younger readers out there, but there are loads of fun science experiments you can do at home using simple household items. A great way to spend a rainy day learning about some cool science tricks!
Here’s a few great websites listing examples:
- Science Bob (super quick and easy experiments for kids, with videos)
- Home Science Tools (loads of different experiments for everything from a bit of fun to mini research projects)
- Science Boffins (some really fun ones with rockets here!)
- Raspberry Pi (learn to program)
Have a search through the database section for currently open competitions you could enter. These could be anything from large science projects to writing a short essay, and winning or being shortlisted in such a competition is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge! You could also win some great prizes! Many competitions are run annually, so if you see one on the database that’s not currently active make a note of it ready for next year.
What better way is there to demonstrate your interest in a subject than by writing about it? Using blogger.com or similar websites you can create a great looking blog in under 5 minutes. Stuck on what to write about? How about discussing your opinions on recent engineering news, writing about your home science experiments, or posting challenging maths puzzles? Don’t want to commit to your own blog, but still want to share your experiences of STEM? Then get in touch!