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Grants & Funding: Lightyear Foundation

Published: 14 August 2020

Lightyear Foundation is a science charity breaking down barriers to get more disabled people into STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine). Last year, with support from The Ogden Trust, we collaborated with inclusive dance organisation Flamingo Chicks to up-skill 13 of its dance teachers on physics and STEMM. This initiative has enabled science-themed active learning workshops to be delivered, already reaching nearly 300 disabled children across the UK.

We have also created STEMM lesson plans to equip teachers with specific exercises and techniques explained for a variety of disabilities. We have delivered nearly 50 outreach workshops across the UK, the teacher training day and a further six work inspiration days. Our ‘Alien Worlds’ classes were delivered to 291 children through 23 weekly sessions in Bristol, Cardiff, Yorkshire and London. Next up are the ‘Inventing’ and ‘Flight’ themes so the Ogden funded training will reach continue to reach even more disabled children.

The Ogden Trust has also supported Lightyear Foundation with an initiative to deliver science-themed active learning workshops and lesson plans to help break down barriers and get more disabled people into STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine).

Students from New Fosseway School, Bristol (a mixed ability SEN school) have been getting hands-on with electricity investigations, learning Makaton signs for circuits and their components, made circuits using specially adapted components and thought about switches, including making foil switches so the students became part of the circuit.

Our Lightyear STEM lead, Dr Sarah Bearchell, has also been working with Ogden Teaching and Learning Lead, Jackie Flaherty, to share resources and lesson ideas to a wider audience.

Katherine Sparkes
Chief Executive Officer, Lightyear Foundation
(June 2020; edited 2021)

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