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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

As a major provider of STEM subjects at degree level, we recognise their importance to the UK's skills base. That’s why at Manchester we work with teachers and career advisers to inspire school learners with the exciting experiences and advantages of studying science.

STEM activities at Manchester

One-off activities include large-scale events as part of Manchester Science Festival and British Science Week, as well as smaller scale events that run throughout the year.

To ask us about our STEM activities, email: schoolsandcolleges@manchester.ac.uk.

If you are a teacher and would like to find out more about upcoming STEM events sign up to our mailing list

Find out more about some of the STEM opportunities at Manchester. 

STEM activities in academic Schools

As well as the many STEM events and activities run for secondary school teachers, advisers and pupils by our widening participation team, a fantastic range of STEM activities and events designed specifically for schools and colleges take place within our academic Faculties and Schools. Information for each academic school can be found on their pages:

British Science Week

Each year the University runs a number of events to celebrate British Science Week. Activities take place across the University, including our four-day Science Extravaganza, where we welcome over 1,000 learners on to campus to learn about research taking place here. 

Watch the highlights from one of our previous Science Extravaganzas.

Girls into STEM

The University of Manchester is committed to championing science, technology, engineering and maths as study and career pathways for girls and we run a number of events throughout the year with this specific aim, like our Dragonfly Day.

These events link school pupils with staff and students at the University to spark conversations between current female scientists and the STEM stars of the future.

Sign up to our newsletter to be kept up-to-date with our latest Girls into STEM events.

Great Science Share for Schools

Formally established in 2016, the Great Science Share for Schools (GSSfS) is a national campaign to inspire young people into science and engineering by sharing their scientific questions.

The annual campaign:

  • encourages young people to communicate their scientific questions and investigations with new audiences;
  • improves teacher confidence in teaching children to think and work scientifically;
  • raises the profile of school science, improving the science capital of children and families.

Reaching over 50,000 young people since 2016, pupils, teachers, students, STEM organisations and industry, UK-wide and internationally, are encouraged to take part each year. GSSfS is a free-to-participate campaign that culminates in thousands of young people sharing science in June.

Find out about the campaign details by visiting the GSSfS website.

For any further information about GSSfS, please email: fascinate@manchester.ac.uk.

Manchester Science Festival – University of Manchester

Every October, Manchester Science Festival takes over the city. The University of Manchester will be playing a big part – and we hope you will too.

From Tomorrow's World Live to giant spider's webs, robot playgrounds to Dinosaurs in the Wild, Manchester Science Festival is packed full of family-friendly events inspired by real science, with something to amaze everybody at this annual celebration of all things scientific.

The University of Manchester is a partner in the festival and our scientists have helped to produce some spectacular events, from robot orchestras to interactive exhibits. You can view further information and check out the full calendar on the Manchester Science Festival website.

STEM competitions

Teachers and careers advisers at secondary schools across the UK encourage their pupils to enter University of Manchester competitions that introduce topics relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in a fun, challenging and appealing way.

The Alan Turing Centenary Cryptography Competition

Led by our School of Mathematics, this cryptography competition is currently open for entries from schoolchildren in Years 7 to 11. The competition celebrates the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing – code-breaker, mathematician and founding father of computer science. 

Although he died relatively young, Alan Turing made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology and the mathematical theory of computability. 

The competition is free to enter and students can sign up and find out more on the Cryptography Competition website.

Animation competition

Led by our School of Computer Science, this annual competition supports the teaching of computing in schools. It’s designed to enthuse schoolchildren aged 7–19 about computer science. For more information about the competition and who can enter, please visit the animation competition website

Additional Resources

There are a variety of resources which have been developed by The University of Manchester and various organisations across Manchester. These resources can be very helpful in the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the classroom. Click here to find out about these resources as well as our list of other STEM activities across the North West.

STEM resources and contacts

Manchester is home to a number of fantastic STEM resources and activities. Here is list of our favourites which can support teaching STEM subjects in the classroom.

Videos of our Star Lectures

We have filmed a selection of our Star Lectures – public talks delivered by some of our world-leading academics on their areas of expertise – and made them available for use in schools. You could access videos of Professor Brian Cox talking about the Big Bang, Professor Andrew Loudon talking about where animals came from, or Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS talking about the brain.

See our Star Lecture Series.

Earth and solar system blog

Want to know how planets formed? What the oldest stuff on Earth is? The geological and chemical information contained in meteorites? The latest science coming back from NASA space missions? Head to where Manchester earth and planetary scientists introduce their latest research on our Earth and solar system blog. You can keep updated on Facebook and Twitter too.

Learn Chemistry Partnership

Connect your school to the world's leading chemistry community through the Royal Society of Chemistry's (RSC) Learn Chemistry Partnership (LCP). LCP is a free programme to ensure your school makes the most of the RSC’s activities and resources.

One main contact can register their school and become an advocate, sharing the information and resources they receive with their colleagues.

As an advocate you’ll receive a free RSC membership. Members of RSC receive 50% discount off our online CPD courses and teachers at LCP schools will receive 25% off. You will also receive a personal copy of Education in Chemistry and The Mole magazine, and can request free materials for your school, such as posters, pens and pencils.

STEM ambassadors

STEM ambassadors are volunteers from industry and academia who work or study science, technology, engineering and math. 

In Greater Manchester, the STEM team at the Science and Industry Museum have lots of experience in supporting teachers and group leaders with activities to inspire young people. 

They can be used for:

  • careers talks
  • specialist topic talks or demos
  • mentoring
  • mock interviews
  • supporting STEM Clubs and hands-on STEM activities
  • STEM expertise enhancement for teachers and group leaders

Graphene information, apps and games

Graphene is a fascinating material with many potential applications that stem from its unusual properties.

It was not thought to be stable in its free form, until it was isolated in 2004 by University of Manchester researchers. Professors Andre Geim, FRS and Kostya Novoselov, FRS were jointly awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the material.

We have subsequently created a number of graphene-related resources that you can use in school.

Connecting science and mathematics

Resources produced by the COMPASS project help you to develop lessons that connect science and mathematics with each other, and with the lives of your students.

Teams of teachers and university staff working together in six European countries created the resources, which all take a theme related to sustainability.

The UK was represented primarily by a team from our University, who worked with ten secondary schools in the North West to create materials on the topics of ‘dangerous rain’ and ‘dangerous cold’. We made the connection between science and mathematics by focusing on the concept of 'flow’: flow of water, and flow of energy.

One of the most innovative aspects of our materials is the use of applets: small, web-based simulation programmes that provide the opportunity for modelling the relationship of key variables in the context. They are free to use and adapt, as long as you acknowledge and reference the source material.

These resources have been used as the basis for projects in science and maths clubs. We very much welcome feedback, including stories about their use in projects in schools.

To offer feedback, or to ask questions about the material, email Andy Howes, Senior Lecturer in Science Education: andrew.j.howes@manchester.ac.uk.

Interactive web-based resources on the immune system

Immunology is the science of the immune system, the body’s defence against infection. From birth to death, we are bombarded with potential infectious threats that require a complex network of monitoring and defence. 

Research at The University of Manchester encompasses both basic and clinical study and addresses key questions in the immunology field. For example, how does our immune system regulate inflammation while still fighting infection? How do cytokines work? What kick-starts an immune response and how does that lead to such a range of outcomes (for example, anti-tumour immunity, autoimmunity or inflammation)?

Access a variety of fun interactive resources for all ages on our Manchester Immunology Group website.

Free 3D design software from Siemens

Your school can now utilise Solid Edge, an industry-leading mechanical design system from Siemens with exceptional tools for designing, creating and managing 3D digital products.

Solid Edge is the only mainstream mechanical system that merges design management capabilities with the CAD tools that designers use every day. A unique element of Solid Edge is 'synchronous technology', a feature that is revolutionising the CAD industry for engineers and designers. Synchronous technology enables users to focus on creating their designs, rather than having to work within the rigid constraints of the traditional history-based CAD tools. For you and your students, this means it's easier to learn and use.

Solid Edge High School Edition is available for free to all secondary schools. The academic site licence allows your school to install Solid Edge on as many computers as required for academic use. To obtain the Solid Edge High School Edition, a teacher or school official can register at the Siemens website.

To help you and your students get started with Solid Edge, there are a number of tutorials within the software. Access to comprehensive online self-paced tutorials – including classroom presentations, the required data sets and video tutorials – is also available for free from the Solid Edge Educator Resources page