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Bruce Robinson

Hello, I am Bruce Robinson. I retired from main stream education in 2014, following a rewarding career as Head of Chemistry and STEM Coordinator. During my exciting career at Ivybridge Community College and UTC Plymouth, I had the honour to work with some amazing teachers and young people who ignited my love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths ( and the Arts). My desire to keep engaged with STEM activities after I retired, came from my realisation that boys and girls of all ages, love to learn about how stuff works if you give them the chance; hence Wonder Workshops.

I have become a STEM Ambassador with STEM Learning and Careers SW. This enables me to support Primary and Secondary schools in their projects for Big Bang South West and beyond.
I am also working with the Prince's Teaching Institute, Plymouth Teaching School Alliance, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and The Science Learning Partnership to help develop STEM and STEAM teaching and learning in Primary schools in the SW and London.

I have successfully lead winning STEM teams from UTC Plymouth to The Young Engineers Final at the NEC in Birmingham and the RN Challenge at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth. I've worked with the National Marine Aquarium in support of their STEMfest activities and organised a highly successful Women in STEM event involving Babcock, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth University, AECOM and Kawasaki.

Like many teachers in schools and colleges all over the UK and beyond, I am an advocate of Experiential Learning. In this kind of activity, students are actively engaged in their learning, often without realising it. The experiences, challenges and frameworks provided allow them to develop behaviours that encourage, not just short term knowledge assimilation, but much deeper attitudes that encourage confidence, proactivity and resilience. These enable students to seek out the knowledge and skills they need to overcome problems; they become more skilled problems solvers. These "Behaviours for Learning" equip students with Life Long Learning Skills that are essential for the challenging jobs of the future. Resilience, Cooperation, Independence, Interdependence, Curiosity, Creativity as well as Resourcefulness and Team-working are all key learning attributes acknowledged by Guy Claxton (2011), Simon Ellis and Janet Tod (2009). At Wonder Workshops, we aim to challenge students so they develop these skills through a series of fun STEM based activities.

The STIXX activities used by Wonder Workshops are tried and tested and have been employed within London Primary and Secondary schools for over 10 years by their inventor, Jeremy King of Engineering in Schools.

I think it is time students in the South West had the same opportunities to develop these skills as their London cousins, so here it is.

Claxton, G. et al (2011) The Learning Powered School. Bristol, TLO

Ellis, S. & Jod, J (2009) Behaviour for Learning. London, Routledge.

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