Resources for extended projects

Ensure your school has what it needs to support these projects

What to think about in school

Some aspects of doing a practical EPQ might need special consideration:

  • Do students require access to a school laboratory? If so, will they able to access it ad hoc or will you need to timetable specific slots?
  • Are technicians happy to support students in the laboratory? Are they available at appropriate times?
  • Do you need to source any consumables for students to use?

Where to find help outside of school

Universities

Universities are vast, complex organisations and their websites can be a bit tricky to navigate. A good tip to find out what your local university offers to support schools is to search the web for the university name (and perhaps the relevant department name too) in combination with certain key terms. For example:

  • Warwick university widening participation
  • Leeds university public engagement
  • Cambridge university biochemistry outreach.

Outreach coordinators at faculty or departmental level might be able to put you in touch with helpful academics.

Nematode worms

If you have a particular interest in C. elegans, contact Professor Lindy Holden-Dye at the University of Southampton. She has contacts around the UK who might be able to offer EPQ students the opportunity to do a project using this versatile little worm.

Industry

You may be surprised by the number of local industries who employ people with STEM expertise or who have access to STEM resources.

STEMNET provides access to over 27,000 individuals, ‘STEM ambassadors’, who can share expertise across the breadth of STEM. STEM ambassadors can offer you a range of support, such as by visiting your school (which might help students identify a topic) or by giving students access to their facilities.

To find a STEM ambassador, get in touch with one of STEMNET’s regional coordinators.

Other experts

A number of organisations provide support for practical STEM projects. Some directly support EPQs, while others provide different practical science opportunities for students.

If you know of other good resources to support STEM EPQs we would love to hear about them – please email the Wellcome Trusts education team.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects’ in June 2015.

Topics:
Statistics and maths, Careers
Issue:
Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects
Education levels:
16–19, Independent research projects