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The University of Southampton

‘STEM at Home’ brings excitement of science into home study

Published: 4 February 2021
Build a battery video image
One of the videos in the 'STEM at Home' series shows how to build a battery from materials at home.

The ingenuity and enthusiasm of early career researchers at the University of Southampton has led them to create a week-long programme of interactive learning activities online aimed at young people studying at home because of the pandemic.

The researchers based in the University’s Centre for Electronics Frontiers, part of the Southampton-based Zepler Institute, have developed the pre-recorded ‘STEM at Home’ series which includes everything from experiments with artificial intelligence (AI) and luminescence to building your own sensor and batteries with materials you have at home and ways of testing your WiFi signal.

The group, comprised of Drs Dimitra Georgiadou, Ioulia Tzouvadaki, Theresa Schoetz, Muhammad Hamidullah and Alex Serb, filmed themselves in the hope that 6-11 year-olds (and older) would share their passion and excitement for all things related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They've also added material from other sources as well as interesting links to other information to create a week-long programme of activities.

Dr Dimitra Georgiadou, who is leading the Flexible and Organic Electronics theme within the Centre for Electronics Frontiers said: “Creating these videos amid the first months of the pandemic was an amusing and stress-relieving exercise for us. We hope to have motivated some kids and youngsters to study science but even if we managed to nudge anyone who watched them, parents included, to click on the links and learn something new, it is a success, as learning has no age!”

The Director of the Centre for Electronics Frontiers, Professor Themis Prodromakis, has watched the entire series with his own children, as have other colleagues of his, and said he instantly felt the energy and enthusiasm for science his colleagues hoped to convey. The series has attracted the interest of the Royal Academy for Engineering that led this valuable resource to be shared with over 2,000 schools across the UK.

“The whole concept and content for ‘STEM at Home’ was focused so that each activity leveraged the expertise of a few individual - and very talented - researchers from the Centre for Electronics Frontiers who have a deep knowledge about each of these subjects and are passionate about their research,” said Professor Prodromakis.

“Einstein once said, ‘If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough’ but that just relates to the content itself; you must also be able to convey science in an exciting and engaging way,” he continued. “With this series, we wanted to establish a complete programme for each day, supplementing the activities we developed with a list of additional resources and useful reading for the excited ones.

“This programme of activities offers an enjoyable introduction into a variety of STEM-related topics and subjects and aid in planting the seeds for growing further excitement in at least one of these areas,” Professor Prodromakis concluded. “Who knows – perhaps many of the young people who experience ‘STEM at Home’ will end up studying and possibly following a career in one of these exciting areas of Engineering.” 


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The series has attracted the interest of the Royal Academy for Engineering that led this valuable resource to be shared with over 2,000 schools across the UK.
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