Working with Schools and Young People
School Outreach and Widening Participation
Queen Mary has a dedicated Education Liasion team who work closely with a range of schools, organising revision classes, summer schools, student mentoring schemes, talks and open days, all designed to promote the benefits – and possibilities – of a university education.
The team additionally oversee our widening participation projects, which aims to improve social mobility by improving access to higher education for under-represented groups.
We work closely with teachers and advisors to offer an extensive range of activities suitable for young people from Year 5 - 13. You can find out more about our outreach and widening participation opportunities here.
Queen Mary is also the lead sponsor of a local multi-academy trust, the University Schools Trust, headquartered a 20-minute walk from our Mile End Campus.
Queen Mary, as the lead sponsor, has worked closely with the Trust to help develop an inspiring vision for education of “providing transformational educational opportunities for all children, including those facing disadvantage, setting the agenda for social mobility and sector-wide innovation and change”. The university continues to work closely with the Trust on its continued growth and strategy.
Current University Schools Trust include St Paul’s Way Trust School (SPWT) and Royal Greenwich Trust School (RGTS). You can find out more about these partnerships on the University Schools Trust website
Centre of the Cell
Centre of the Cell is Queen Mary’s flagship science centre, home to two learning and public engagement 'Pods' suspended above working scientific laboratories on our Whitechapel campus. School and family groups can see scientists at work before entering STEM Pod where they learn about cell biology and the important health research taking place at the Blizard Institute through an immersive digital experience. Visitors can also take part in fun, interactive science shows inside Neuron Pod, their state-of-the-art learning and community space. Pre- and post-visit activities, including games and teacher resources, can be found on the Centre of the Cell website.
COTC also offers work experience placements, revision and mentoring sessions, careers workshops and volunteering opportunities for young people aged between 14 and 19 through their Youth Membership Scheme (YMS). As part of the YMS, teenagers have created joint activities with the team, such as ‘Spores, Sores and Sickly Bugs’ and the WW1 Whitechapel Medical Marvels Trail.
Since opening in 2009, more than 200,000 people have participated in Centre of the Cell activities, and around 60 per cent of all school participants coming to the centre have been from a ten-mile radius of Whitechapel.
Engagement projects with Schools and Young People
At Queen Mary, there are a number of projects being run by our staff and students that engage schools and young people with the teaching and research of the University. These include:
Computer Science for Fun (cs4fn) and Teaching London Computing
cs4fn was created in 2005 by academics in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary. They wanted to share their passion about all things to do with Computer Science to young people and especially show that it is an exciting subject that is great to learn about just for the fun of it. cs4fn now produce a free magazine for schools sent out twice a year, as well as a series of special booklets (e.g. magic tricks and the computer science behind them, electronic engineering and audio engineering and their links with computing).
cs4fn also has a sister website specifically to support teachers: Teaching London Computing. Activity sheets and other resources help teachers both teach the computing curriculum and go beyond it. cs4fn also give free workshops on fun, unplugged ways to teach computing and computational thinking, as well as providing CPD courses for teachers. Originally the focus was on providing support in London but cs4fn has developed over the years to now provide resources across the UK and internationally.
Physics Research in School Environments (PRiSE)
PRiSE enables GCSE and A-Level students to undertake real life scientific research in Physics and Astronomy over a six month period in their school. Students are supported with this work by the Queen Mary researchers whose work the students are engaging with. The projects culminate in a student conference featuring posters and talks, where students share their discovery with their peers, families, and staff and students from Queen Mary. Some of projects have led to peer-reviewed publications that contain the sudents' engaged research results.