STEM Directories Phase 3 Gap Analysis

Project aims:

Identifying existing gaps and overlaps in provision of national enhancement & enrichment (E&E) activities across KS3 and KS4 STEM subjects.

Summary of activity:

Three separate research methods were incorporated:
– Development of a coding framework and subsequent mapping of existing STEM E&E provision using providers’ entries within the online version of the STEM Directories as well as their own websites. (n=63 providers with sufficient data for analysis)
– Teacher consultation via electronic questionnaire. (n=60)
– Semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore more deeply the reasons behind teachers’ perceptions of gaps and overlaps in provision. (n=6)

Evaluation approach:

What went well:

1. All of the subject areas (Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology) contain relevant provision of enhancement & enrichment activities.

2. 59 of the 63 providers investigated here indicated that they did evaluate their activities.

3. Teachers expressed a strong desire to be able to access practical resources such as risk assessments and teacher packs.

What was learned:

1. Teachers are most likely to look for activities at the beginning of the year or the start of term.

2. Teachers would like to see more E&E activities that cover skills such as 'problem solving', 'creativity' and 'group work or collaboration'.

3. Teachers would like to see more specific information provided to describe the activities on offer, written in a simple and easy-to-understand format, e.g. one teacher explicit asked for activity descriptions to indicate "what's going to be done, why it's going to be done, and what they're trying to achieve... I quite like things to be in plain English".

Top tips and advice for others

Summary report of the overall findings is available at; the full report is available at

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About the contributor

Karen Bultitude
University College London

Karen is a part-time lecturer in Science Communication and Director of Research in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. She combines practical delivery expertise with robust academic rese…

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