1) Decide on why you want to set up a STEM club.
This will give your club an ethos and give you something to say to people you ask them to get involved. Do you want integrate together different aspects of STEM? To offer more personalised learning? Or do you just want more time for the fun stuff?
2) Approach people who might be interested in getting involved
Teaching staff in other STEM subjects might be the obvious choice, but schools are full of people with relevant interests and skills. Technical support from technicians and/or site staff will be vital. Outside experts from industry and higher education and parents can also be very useful. Try searching the supplier & services database for links to groups outside your school who could help.
3) Decide on who your club members will be
You could decide that any student can participate in your STEM club, but you might want to have more control over who comes along. You could get students to apply for a place in the club, or target specific groups of students in line with your school’s priorities. Bear in mind that a STEM club is supposed to be fun for everyone involved. Both the club members and the club leaders should be happy to be there.
4) Get people hooked with some great activity ideas
Launch events, flashy one-off activities, competitions – they can all create a real buzz about your STEM club, even before it starts. Having a theme (e.g. climate change, space or survival) could help you think of ideas for activities that will sustain the club. Longer projects can be very rewarding, but it can be difficult to maintian motivation. STEM clubs should not be about homework or writing. Try our searching the resources database for ideas.
5) Decide on your locations
This will probably be dictated by your choice of activity, but take any opportunity you can to move the club out of the classroom, lab or workshop. Trips and visits are great for motivation and can add a real-world dimension to your club activities. The health and safety of club leaders and members needs to be considered, possibly by carrying out a risk assessment (where necessary).
Find out when other after-school clubs are on and try not to clash with too many of them. Try to take into consideration the transport arrangements of club members, their personal safety (might they end up walking home alone in the dark?), and other out-of-school events like major sporting events and religious observances.