New learning resource features CERN

A new educational website, STEM Works, has been launched this month, presenting science and technology in an industrial context for students aged 11-14. Developed with contributions from CERN, the site highlights the Laboratory as a “real-world” example of the opportunities available to science graduates. While the site was developed in Northern Ireland, STEM Works addresses issues of global relevance.


Students share their projects with Steve Myers, Richard Hanna (CCEA), and Catriona Ruane (Education Minister).

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – the four cornerstones of the curriculum featured on the STEM Works website. It is part of a nationwide push in Northern Ireland to highlight how important STEM subjects are to both academia and industry. CERN worked closely with the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) to develop educational content for the site. “The CCEA STEM Works site is a high-quality online resource with which I am very proud to have been involved,” said Steve Myers, speaking in Belfast at the launch event for the website. “Hopefully we show that STEM-related work can be a hugely exciting and rewarding career path.”

Along with lesson plans and ideas for teachers, STEM Works hosts three new videos about the physics of the LHC and the lives of the scientists working at CERN. Visitors can hear the personal accounts of CERN scientists from Northern Ireland, including Belfast-born Steve Myers and Conor Henderson. They describe their lives as researchers, exploring how childhood curiosity led to a subsequent career in science, and discuss the importance of the research they carry out at CERN.

STEM Works encourages schools to develop relationships with STEM-related organisations like CERN, and even provides a directory of local organisations for teachers to access. The Northern Ireland Minister of Education, Catriona Ruane, also attended the launch event and spoke of the importance of presenting science to young students: “Resources such as this website help to spark their imagination in the STEM subjects, which can lead to new and fascinating discoveries. All of this opens up the potential for different and exciting career paths which they may not have considered."

While the STEM Works resources are designed to fit into the new Northern Ireland curriculum, they can easily enhance learning experiences at any school. Visit the website to explore the free teaching material available for download.


by Katarina Anthony