STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths -  subjects which are critical to the UK's economic success. STEM graduates have the potential to earn some of the highest salaries, and yet employers are struggling to fill skilled vacancies.

So whilst young people seem happy to enjoy science and technology filled lives, why are they turning away from STEM careers? We want our students to understand the relevance of STEM, to embrace its creativity and innovation, and recognise the opportunities it could offer them in the future. The project-based approach is the perfect introduction!

The Purposeful Project

This six week project involved skills in independent research, teamwork, evaluation and critique. Students emerged with knowledge of material properties, The Periodic Table, the structure of the atom, design, business and financial management.

1. Scientific Research

Students studied The Periodic Table and the structure of the atom. They examined the properties of metals and non-metals. They researched Edwardian fashion and developed designs for a piece of jewellery inspired by the era. 

2. The Successful Designer

Route 39 Fellow and Theatre Costume Designer, Joanna Johnston, brought some of her jewellery designs for the film Jack the Giant Killer. She explained how a careful process of design and material choice conveys accuracy of time and place.

3. The World of Business

London boutique owner and antique jewellery expert, Eliza Poklewski-Koziell, spoke to students about what she looks for in a piece of jewellery and how she operates her business. She showed students some Edwardian jewellery, as well as contemporary designs.

4. Design and Redesign 

Students began work on their own pieces of jewellery, choosing materials with the appropriate properties. The design phase involved regular critiques of one another’s concepts before the actual pieces were constructed.

5. Student Enterprise

Students organised a market to sell their jewellery and invited parents and the local community. They calculated income and expenses, analysing what had been profitable and how to improve. Their earnings went towards their school ski trip.

For more information contact Mrs Catherine Clawley: