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UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS SCHEME OBJECTIVES: Encouraging a new generation of scientists. Providing key skills to undergraduates. Supplying role models.

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Presentation on theme: "UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS SCHEME OBJECTIVES: Encouraging a new generation of scientists. Providing key skills to undergraduates. Supplying role models."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS SCHEME OBJECTIVES: Encouraging a new generation of scientists. Providing key skills to undergraduates. Supplying role models for pupils. Giving support to teachers.

2 WHAT IT IS: A structured template for credit-giving student tutoring. A new scheme to award academic credit to undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for working with school teachers. WHO IS INVOLVED:  Science writer and broadcaster Simon Singh  National Director, Ravi Kapur  DfES, TTA, DTI  Other school-placement schemes  Science education and professional bodies  Universities and Schools

3 Benefits for all: Undergraduates gain a range of valuable transferable skills of benefit to them in employment and in life, and gain experience in communicating their own subject. Teachers get a genuinely useful assistant in the classroom who has up-to-date, expert knowledge of their subject and is able to help produce classroom resources. Pupils get more individual attention from a role model not too much older than themselves, who has a real enthusiasm for their subject, can demonstrate its applications beyond school studies, and who can offer an insight into university life. Universities have an opportunity to improve their admissions and recruitment figures in these subject areas, particularly from within their local community, by building links with and working directly with schools. Undergraduates have an opportunity to consider teaching as a career. Working in the school environment gives them an early insight into teaching which they might otherwise not receive.

4 Initial Set-up: University departments are brought on board, (ideally several in each centre). UAS provides advice, documentation and a template for implementing the scheme. UAS advises on training, CRB checks, liaison with schools, assessment methodology and other areas. UAS encourages departments to work with existing schemes in their university. Each department validates the course and adapts the material provided by UAS to meet their own needs Each department takes complete responsibility for its own course. UAS is run under a devolved structure by each department. Undergraduates apply for the course and are interviewed for places on a competitive basis.

5 2002/2003 Pilot Scheme: 4 Departments in 3 Universities. 28 Undergraduates. 27 Teachers. 2003/4 Scheme: 14 Departments in 10 Universities. Roughly 100 Undergraduates. Roughly 100 Teachers.

6 Independent Evaluation Findings From Pilot Year: All participants enjoyed the scheme Successful in meeting its aims Potential to expand nationwide Potential in other subject areas

7 Feedback from Pilot Year: Prof Ray D'Inverno, Maths, Southampton University: "We are very excited about the large number of high calibre undergraduates that applied for this course, and the enthusiasm of local teachers. The competitive element of the scheme really 'upped the ante' and raised the number of undergraduates applying. The difficulty we had was in having to turn some undergraduates down.“ King's College London, Maths Undergraduates: "I really want to learn about how people teach Maths in schools. This is the best way I can get to do that." "The Training Day has given me a lot to think about before I go into the school. I feel I'm now prepared for things I wouldn't have known about."

8 Feedback from Pilot Year: Steve Housely Deputy Head Bushey Meades Grammar School: "This is exactly the sort of scheme we want to be involved with”. Heidi Cross, maths undergraduate, Southampton University: “I would recommend the scheme to all undergraduates, whether they are interested in teaching or not. Even though I have not yet decided if I do want to become a teacher it has given me some good experiences that I know will be useful to me in the future. I am enjoying the course immensely and gaining more and more confidence every week.”

9 UAS Information and Guidance Documents: 1) The Module Structure 2) The Assessment Methodology 2) Recruiting Undergraduates 4) Identifying Teachers and Working with Schools 5) Preparation and training for Undergraduates and Teachers 6) Support and Monitoring for Undergraduates 7) Example Training Manual 8) Example Undergraduate Handbook

10 Key Skills For Undergraduates:  Understanding the needs of individuals.  Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.  Staff responsibilities and conduct.  The ability to improvise.  Giving (and taking) feedback.  Organisational, prioritisation and negotiating skills.  Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations.  Public speaking and communication skills.  Team-working.  Standard teaching methods.  Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.

11 Range of Assessment Methods: There are four main methods of assessment suggested for this course: A log book of activity kept by the undergraduate ( eg 1 page per placement day), (including descriptions of planning and delivery of special projects) An end of course report written by the undergraduate ( eg words), (including descriptions of planning and delivery of special projects) An oral presentation given by the undergraduate at the end of the course (eg minutes) An end of course report by the teacher on the undergraduate’s overall progress (eg 1 page)

12 Key Assessment Criteria: 1) Communication Skills 2) Working with Others 3) Organisation, Reliability and Self-Management 4) Initiative and Creativity 5) Identifying and Understanding the Educational Needs of Others 6) Self-Analysis and Critical Evaluation

13 Outline of Training Day: Session 1 – Introduction to module Session 2 – Schools today Session 3 – Working with teachers Session 4 – Working with students Session 5 – Support available to Undergraduates Session 6 – Action planning Session 7 – Assessment Methodology

14 Examples of Special Projects 1) Radioactivity - A physics undergraduate at the University of Surrey, working with a ‘top-set’ in a comprehensive school, took the initiative to create some lasting resources in her school. 2) Starters – A Mathematics student at Southampton University, working with a top set of Year 9 pupils at an all girls comprehensive school, chose to create a series of ten- minute lesson ‘starters’. 3) Communication in Mathematics – Another Mathematics student from Southampton University chose ‘Verbal Communication in Mathematics’ as her special project. 4) Laser Lab – Another Physics student at the University of Surrey working with Year 12 pupils in a PFI school close to the university campus, planned and arranged a visit by his host teacher and a small number of pupils to his university laboratory.

15 Example Partner Organisations Supporting Bodies: –Institute of Physics –Learning and Teaching Support Network –Institute of Mathematics and its Applications –London Mathematical Society –Institute of Chemical Engineers –Royal Society of Chemistry

16 Example Partner Organisations The 2002/2003 UAS Pilot Scheme HEIs: University of Surrey (Mathematics and Physics) Southampton University (Mathematics) King’s College London (Mathematics) 2003/2004 Scheme New HEIs: University of Leeds (Physics and Chemistry) Royal Holloway, University of London (Mathematics and Physics) University of Liverpool (Physics) University of Leicester (Physics) All of the ten schools which participated in 2002/3 will again take part in 2003/4, and HEIs are currently in the process of signing-up new schools for the coming session.

17 Support Funds A new development in 2004 For use in support of undergraduates on UAS only Not a bursary payment Reporting obligations For University Departments: - £30 per student per day spent in school - eg: £3000 for 10 students placed for 10 days each For Schools: - £50 per placement offered - eg: £250 for whole term if offering 5 placements

18 U A S Future development Cost-effectiveness Quality assurance A structured but flexible scheme Contact Details: Ravi Kapur National Director Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme T: e:


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