Rapid evidence reviews
STEM clubs and their ability to increase students’ aspirations for engineering and technology careers
This rapid-evidence review, published in December 2023, brings together the available evidence on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) clubs and their ability to increase students’ aspirations for engineering and technology careers. By summarising the existing studies, we draw out learnings on STEM clubs that can be used by STEM outreach providers to increase aspirations around engineering and technology careers.
Some of the key learnings highlighted in the report include:
- Engage students through practical activities – get students ‘doing engineering and technology’, rather than passively studying from a textbook
- Engage experts in the design of club content – such as educational specialists and industry professionals who can ensure that activities are not only educationally enriching, but also closely aligned with current industry practices and trends
- Involve role models in club activities - their involvement can expose students to educational or professional STEM pathways
- Provide comprehensive training to teachers responsible for delivering club content - effective facilitators need to have the relevant skills to lead club activities and provide valuable support for students
- Consider including competitive elements in clubs - has the potential to enhance engagement and foster a sense of enthusiasm and motivation among students
Download the report
Interventions to increase girls’ aspirations for engineering and technology careers
This rapid-evidence review, published in June 2023 ahead of International Women in Engineering Day (23 June), brings together the available evidence on interventions that aim to increase girls’ aspirations for engineering and technology careers.
The report is designed to inform programme design and delivery for STEM engagement practitioners and funders, and to highlight gaps where more evidence is needed.
The review is split into 5 main sections including activities for primary school students, programmes designed specifically for girls, role models and mentors, links to higher education and careers and summer camps.
Key learnings highlighted across these main sections include:
- Start engaging girls with engineering and technology activities at a young age
- Include activities that challenge gender stereotypes around engineering and technology
- Learn about the needs, interests, and preferences of girls when designing outreach programmes
- Understand the limitations of gender as a binary concept
- The use of role models that are a similar age can help bridge the developmental gap between students and professionals
- Showcase a range of engineering and technology careers
Download the report