In autumn 2021, amidst the hustle and bustle of a new academic year starting at King’s College London, the first student cohort of the MA in STEM Education were doing final checks and proofreading their dissertations, which they submitted before many of them returned to their own classrooms to enthuse primary and secondary school pupils about biology, physics, technology, natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and more.
Launched in 2019, the new MA in STEM Education programme responds to the pressing technological and environmental issues the world is facing. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and brought into stark relief again at COP26, these challenges require a set of complex responses, which some argue could only be devised and developed if more students enjoy, understand and choose STEM subjects and future career pathways.
The School of Education, Communication and Society (ECS) at King’s recognised the need to work from the ground up to meet this challenge, and equip the teachers with insights from world-leading education research in this field. The programme aims to equip its students to challenge the STEM education discourse, seek out and develop evidence, contribute to building up a repository of STEM education research, lead professional change and becoming critical thinkers.
WIPRO, an Indian multinational information technology corporation, shares this vision and generously decided to support the course; they have funded the programme since its inception, and offered 45 scholarships so that educators could have the opportunity to study for the MA in STEM Education.
At a celebratory event held on 20 November 2021, past and current students of the master’s programme met with King’s researchers, WIPRO representatives, and the Chief Scientific Adviser of the UK Department for International Trade, Dr Mike Short CBE, to discuss the importance of STEM education and collaboration between industry and academia, as well as hearing from students about their research.