STEM Opportunities 10.5

STEM Opportunities is our monthly newsletter for teachers which details upcoming events and information that may be of interest.

Check out our most recent issue below and subscribe here to receive future issues!


Leeds Festival of Science 2020

6 March – 25 March 2020

We look forward to welcoming you to Leeds Festival of Science 2020!

There are events across Leeds for you to enjoy between 6th and 25th March 2020.

We are looking forward to working with schools and colleges during a festival packed with activities for Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5 and teachers involving science, maths, engineering and geography.

How to apply:

We are now in the process of beginning to allocate places for this years festival, however we are still taking bookings until 31 January 2020.

Before you book please check which sessions are remaining via our Leeds Festival of Science 2020 page

Apply online: Leeds Festival Of Science online booking form


Leeds Loves STEM talks

Target Audience: KS4 or KS5
Duration: 1 hour (includes two student talks)

We have recently recruited a new batch of Leeds Loves Ambassadors who are ready to give talks in 2020. Our  ambassadors will give a presentation and answer questions about their degree subjects, career paths and their experiences of studying at the University of Leeds.

These talks are a chance for your pupils to find out more about specific STEM subjects and opportunities in higher education. They allow pupils to explore some of the options available for further study and would be ideal for pupils making decisions about which subjects to study at a higher level.

Please click the link below to request a talk for your school.

For more information and to request a Leeds Loves STEM talk

What do The Rosetta Stone, Maths and Magic all have in common?

Saturday 25 January 2020 – 1:30pm for a 2pm start at University of Leeds
Mall 1, School of Mathematics
Target audience: Open to the general public 

A talk by Andrew Jeffrey – the Mathemagician.

The Rosetta Stone changed our understanding of Ancient Egypt completely. But what could it possibly have to do with maths, and specifically how children learn it? Come along and find out! During this talk, Andrew will explain his thinking behind what works, and why. He will also play noughts and crosses, show you an impossible card trick, and even attempt to predict the evening’s Lottery Results!

Further information: Public visitor parking is available on campus at weekends on a ‘pay on exit’ basis – details can be found at http://carparking.leeds.ac.uk/visitors/

This is a Yorkshire Branch of the Mathematical Association event (www.ybma.org.uk). Non-members are welcome. Please bring the sessions to the attention of your colleagues and friends. Our meetings are very friendly and include refreshments. Anyone who would like to be added to the YBMA email list should send their name and email address to a.slomson@leeds.ac.uk.


Biology Practical Assessment Days, Key Stage 5 (Free)

25 February 2020 – 1-3pm at University of Leeds
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Target audience: For year 12 students studying Biology at Post 16.

Students are invited to visit the Faculty of Biological Sciences at University of Leeds for an afternoon and take part in a Microbiology and Molecular Biology practical activity. Students will evaluate the effect of antibiotics on bacterial growth, and carry out gel electrophoresis for the separation of DNA or protein. This event is designed to align to the required practical activities specified by several A-level examination boards, and will be led/assessed by you, the teacher, and supported by Dr Chris Randall, lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Leeds.

Lunch is optional, please let us know in advance if you would like us to book a space for students to eat a packed lunch.

How to apply:

Deadline for applications 12pm, Wednesday 5 February 2020

Apply online: Biological Practical Assessment Days application form

Further information: For more information please contact STEM Outreach Lead Officer, Natalie Duffield-Moore – n.duffield-moore@leeds.ac.uk

Places are offered on a first come first served basis and students are required to be studying Biology at Post 16.

This event is open to teachers to book on behalf of school groups (min 15 students per school and max 45).


Biological Sciences Taster Day, Key Stage 5 (Free)

Monday 30 March 2020 – 9:30- 3pm at University of Leeds
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Target Audience: For year 12 & 13 students studying Biology at Post 16. 

Are you currently in year 12 with an interest in studying Biological Sciences at the next level? Join us for a taster day where you will experience life as an undergraduate by carrying out practical experiments in our teaching labs, discovering new subjects, exploring the campus and speaking to current staff and students in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

This event is free of charge to attend and lunch is provided.

How to apply:

Deadline for applications Sunday 8 March 2020

Apply online: Biological Sciences Sciences Taster Day Application form

Further information: For more information please contact Natalie Duffield-Moore – n.duffield-moore@leeds.ac.uk

Places are offered first come first served basis with consideration of Post 16 qualifications.

Teachers to book and select students (max 15) to attend/students to apply individually.


Key Stage 5 Maths Day

Wednesday 1 April 2020 at University of Leeds

Join us on campus for a free day of mathematics with your Year 12 students. In the morning choose from three interactive options:

A: Untangling knot theory

B: Hidden symmetries of nature

C: Hands-on mathematics and talk about studying mathematics at Leeds

Followed by the 2020 W. P. Milne Lecture delivered by Dr James Cranch.  We can’t wait!

How to apply:

Deadline for applications 31st January 2020

Apply online: Key Stage 5 Maths day booking form

Further information: To find out more please visit www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/KS5mathsday


KS4 STEM Day

Thursday 2 April 2020 at University of Leeds

Explore STEM: A sustainable future

Join us for the day to discover more about university, STEM subjects and where they could take you. Hear from current students about what it’s like to study at Leeds and take part in three STEM workshops around the theme of sustainability, where we will demonstrate how science can provide answers for a sustainable future.

Further information:

For more information visit: https://www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/earthsciences/sustainability/


Engineering Enhanced Tour (Free)

Availability from 20 April – 10 July 2020 – 9:15am- 12pm.  The following dates are not available due to exams taking place; 18 May – 5 June 2020.
Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences

Target audience: For key stage 3 & 4 (max 30 students)

Bring your class to visit University of Leeds to discover new skills and learn about a career as an Engineer. Led by Post Graduate Engineers, students will receive a tour of Engineering, take part in an interactive resource exploring careers plus a practical activity of your choice.

How to apply:

Apply online: Enhanced Tours booking form

Further information: Please note these events are limited to 3 p/term and offered on a first come first served basis. Bookings must be received at least 4 weeks in advance.


Salters Festival of Chemistry

Thursday 21 May 2020 at University of Leeds
Target audience: Year 7 and or 8 students in England and Wales

A day of activities and challenges designed to inspire budding young scientists. Students will experience hands-on practical Chemistry challenges in university labs and carry out investigations ‘like a real Chemist’. Gain team working and independent problem solving skills and experience amazing chemical demonstrations. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 winning schools in each challenge, and fun prizes and certificates will be given to all participants.

How to apply:

Applications are now open at, www.saltersinstitute.co.uk/festivals/

Only £30 per team (non refundable)

Further information: If you have any questions regarding a student’s specific needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Salters’ Institute – Festivals@salters.co.uk

Teachers: Come and meet your local RSC Education Coordinator, participate in interactive CPD opportunities and take ideas back to the classroom, whilst networking with like-minded colleagues.


Connect Physics Workshops in Schools

Target audience: Key Stage 3 students of all science abilities.

A series of three workshops delivered in schools that encourage students to think of the bigger picture through connecting different ideas, such as topics from KS3 science, the latest physics research or their everyday lives.

Further information: Please visit our Connect Physics page to learn more and book for you school.

These workshops are suitable for KS3 pupils. Up to 30 pupils per session. Three sessions delivered in series over the academic year.


Online Courses

The University of Leeds provides FREE quality online courses to help students make the transition to university.  These courses can be used as a classroom enrichment resource or independently by students to discover exciting subject areas presented by leading academics.

The latest one is on Ecology and Wildlife Conservation and consists of five short online courses that look at the relationships between people and nature, and the challenging and difficult decisions we face when managing natural resources.

How to apply:

To sign up please visit – https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ecology-and-wildlife-conservation

Further information:
To see what other online courses are available please visit the Online Courses section of the website.


PWC 2020 Insight week

Vacancies for PWC’s Insight week are now open. These paid week-long work experience programmes for Year 12 students are a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn more about the world of business, accounting or technology. Below is a summary of the main entry entry requirements:

  • Business Insight Week is open to students from state schools who fulfil our social mobility criteria. They will need to be on track for CCC or above at A-Level / DD at BTEC (or equivalent)
  • Accounting Insight Week has higher entry requirements as is a fast-track programme to our Accounting partnership degrees – students need to be on track for AAB or above at A-level or equivalent.
  • Digital Insight Week also has higher entry requirements as is a fast-track programme to the fully funded Computer Science Degrees – students need to be on track for AAA or above at A-Level or equivalent

Further information: More information and full details of the entry requirements can be found via the PWC website


Spinal Angles, Statistics and Scoliosis

Curriculum Area: Geometry and Statistics – KS3 Mathematics
Target Audience: Mid-attaining KS3 pupils in Year 8/9

This session is a great way to show students that the maths skills they are developing are used in the real world in various professions.

The students will find out what the “Cobb angle” is and explore how to determine and measure it to understand scoliotic curve severity from spinal x-rays and analysing results for orthopaedic healthcare applications/professionals.

Limited availability Monday to Thursday in West Yorkshire.

Contact stem@leeds.ac.uk to request a session.


New Holgate Session Leader

We are pleased to announce that Dr Richard Elwes has recently been appointed as a Holgate Session Leader by the London Mathematical Society – to find out more about Richard and the scheme please visit:

www.lms.ac.uk/events/lectures/holgate-lectures-and-workshops#RICHARD%20ELWES