I'm David Biggs, I am a member of the RSA Kent Group and I helped Sandy organise a discussion panel we held in September on the environment. I run an electrical engineering company and I have a background in various types of science and technology but I have had no experience of education since I left university 15 years ago.
The suggestions so far have been very interesting, I agree that any materials produced should be based on inspiration rather than information, with a view to arm the next generation with the skills they will need to face the problems of changing climate and dwindling energy resources.
I think, to do this we need to make as much use of existing organisations and their resources as possible so if any child is inspired by the materials we produce they have a clear view of where to go to learn more or get more involved rather than losing interest and momentum as they are distracted by other things.
Hi Everyone, some further thoughts regarding STEMNET. You can check them out at http://www.stemnet.org.uk. I met with Pat Langford, DIrector of Programmes (and an RSA Fellow), and Jemeela Quraishi, Programme Manager, on 7 Dec. To cut a long story short, there is a willingness and clear opportunity for us to collaborate. We can bring new materials and new contributors to their programme; they can provide us with an established "route to market" in making connections to schools and to other individuals capable of good quality delivery, plus the admin of CRB checks etc.
At our team call on Monday 13th, we discussed three possible collaboration options with STEMNET:
a) Make RSA materials available via STEMNET's website so they can be used by STEMNET ambassadors.
b) Encourage RSA Fellows to become STEMNET ambassadors in their own right.
c) Develop and deliver some more specific sessions which could be run in schools by RSA Fellows using RSA materials.
a) and b) are almost "no-brainers" and I will pursue these in parallel to our project work. But the real intent behind our project was c) - ie to actually develop some materials and get out into classrooms delivering them.
At our meeting on 13th (Andy will post notes), the following points came out relevant to STEMNET:
- While there was general support for collaboration, Bryony pointed out that the "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) remit does focus sustainability into a "technical" space whereas it has many wider dimensions and would not only appeal to science students.
- There are other potential organisations with whom we could collaborate (and we agreed to check these out as well).
So what we agreed as a next step is that I would go back to STEMNET and ask if we could meet with one of their ambassadors working in the environment/sustainability space, better still actually sit in on session in a school. I have emailed them and made this request.
In posting this here, apart from keeping you informed I would be very keen to hear of any existing connections with, or comments about STEMNET, or any other thoughts on collaboration.
Came across this when on my web travels this afternoon - similar to the kind of thing we're aiming for but with creative professionals instead. Nevertheless, i think we can learn alot from what they're doing:
Let me know what you think...
Oh, and Happy New Year all!
Hi everyone, received an email from the RSA and found myself looking at your project. Very interesting!
For the past three years, I have been working for an environmental NGO called the Climate Parliament (www.climateparl.net). Our focus has been on accelerating the transition to renewable energy by working with members of parliament throughout the world. We have also done some work on forests, looking at the successful Costa Rican legislation on payment for ecosystem services.
Prior to the Climate Parliament, I worked for the BBC World Service, for Radio 4 and as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers. I also worked in Egypt as a journalist for four years, writing about environmental issues over there.
Now I find myself parting company with the Climate Parliament and have been thinking that my next move might be into the community/ education sphere. One of the enjoyable things about the Climate Parliament has been that we have been taking solutions to the world’s legislators and I would relish the opportunity to present the same solutions to a different (more interested?!) audience. That way we can build up the pressure on the MPs to actually do something.
Your initiative might be a good way for me to test the water. When’s your next meeting?