Coordinator FAQ

Posted by YSA HQ | Tue, 22 Feb 2022

Please read on to find our FAQs for Coordinators…

 

Registering for Youth STEMM Award

Q: How do I register for Youth STEMM Award?

Please drop us an email on hq@ysawards.co.uk to indicate your interest to register your school or college. You will then receive further information, relevant application forms and we can answer any questions you may have.

 Q: Is there a deadline for when I can register students?

Youth STEMM Award continues to be an Award that you can sign up your school/college at any time of year, both when registering for the first time or when adding additional students to your group. Although the start of a term is a great time to launch it, we’re completely flexible so you can be too.

 

Logging into the e-portfolio

Q: How do I find the e-portfolio?

You can access the e-portfolio by clicking the button on our homepage (ysawards.co.uk) or going directly to the log-in page via https://eportfolio.ysawards.co.uk/.

Q: What happens if a new student doesn’t access their registration e-portfolio link and it expires?

New students just need to click the ‘Forgotten Password’ link on the log-in page and follow the steps from there to create their profile.

 

Running the Youth STEMM Award in your school or college

Q: How much time will I need to commit as a YSA coordinator?

This will vary depending on the age and ability of the participating pupils but as a rough guide you can expect to spend an hour every fortnight to moderate activities for a group of 15 to 20 students. You can of course put more time into it if you decide to guide your group through finding and taking part in activities. May coordinators choose to do this at their STEM clubs.

Q: I’m not too sure whether I can approve an activity, what shall I do?

First, ensure the activity is in the suitable strand, is extra- or supra-curricular and is related to STEMM (unless this is for ‘Shaping your Future’, which makes allowance for general career guidance and research). If you are not sure, you can reject the activity and ask for clarifications from the participant in your feedback. It is up to your own judgement on whether the activity counts, and we are allowing additional grace due to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

If you are still unsure, or would like further support, please don’t hesitate to ask us on hq@ysawards.co.uk

Q: What happens if the activity has been submitted under the wrong strand?

Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to change the strand of an activity once it is submitted for moderation.  Contact the participant and ask them to copy the text from the original submission and then submit it as a new activity under the correct strand. You can then decline the first (incorrect) submission and they can delete it.

Q: Does the participant need to cover each area of STEMM to achieve their Award?

Yes. At least one activity must be logged in all five areas of STEMM.  Please note that a single activity submission can cover more than one area of STEMM, and often does due to the very nature of STEMM being cross-disciplinary.

Q: Can students log the planning of activities in their e-portfolio?

Yes.  Participants can log the preparation and planning time for activities, for example, they can log planning an activity for younger children in addition to the time spent running the activity.

Q: Can past activities count towards a Youth STEMM Award?

Participants can only log activities that have taken part in recently, though we can accept activities dating back to this the start of the current half-term in question.  The reason for this is to allow for students to make sufficient self-reflection on the skills and knowledge they have developed in these activities.

 Q: Why might I reject an activity submission?

Rejections most often occur when the activity does not relate to STEMM, is not above and beyond the curriculum, has been submitted under the wrong strand or if there is not sufficient description to describe what happened during the activity and what was gained from it.

 

Strand specific questions

Shaping your Future

Q: Do they need to do work experience for Shaping your Future?

This is not essential but optional. Please note for this strand, students can submit some non-STEMM based activities in the circumstances that the activity explores/supports further careers and studies – for example, drafting a personal statement or general research into higher education or apprenticeship pathways. .

 

Developing your Skills and Knowledge

Q: Can students log exam revision towards their Award?

Revision remains within the curriculum if the participant is revising for a subject they are currently undertaking. The exception here is supra-curricular revision, where a participant may research a STEMM subject above and beyond the curriculum or what is being taught in class.

 

Engaging the Public

Q: As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, finding activities in multiple in-person ‘live’ settings can be difficult. Can participants submit alternatives to this?

Of course. Digital and remote activities can be counted for this strand, for example creating a video, making a digital poster or giving a talk over zoom.  For an activity to count, participants must clearly demonstrate how the activity has engaged the public. Note: this goes beyond a short five-minute conversation with friends  or sharing a single STEMM-related post on social media. It must make strong movement to encourage the public to engage with an online resource or otherwise have directly educated one or more members of the public. Activities undertaken in a school setting can also count, such as open evenings where young people can demonstrate a science experiment for example.

 

Inspiring the Next Generation

Q: What counts as the Next Generation?

If the activity involves the participant engaging one or more people the same age or younger than themselves with STEMM that is above and beyond the participants’ curriculum, the activity is suitable for this strand. Please note, the participant will need to work with at least two different individuals or (ideally) groups within this strand to gain their Award and that this does include helping a person younger than them with this younger pupils’ own curriculum (e.g., homework and revision).

 

Finding opportunities

Q: What can you recommend for participants who are struggling to find in-person opportunities?

There are lots of digital and remote activities available.  During the ongoing pandemic we remain very understanding to individual cases and are happy for coordinators to make the final decision on whether a participant can make hours up in other strands to compensate for the lack of available in-person events. Please get in touch if you need further specific advice.

 Q: What can you recommend for those who are struggling to find opportunities?

If participants are struggling to find opportunities why not recommend they check out the following platforms where we celebrate and share many curated opportunities and activity ideas:

  • Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a regular drop of new opportunities from our partners and the wider STEMM network
  • Check out the Opportunities section on the e-portfolio
  • Find inspiration in the Participants Handbook
  • Follow our Instagram for regular Activity Ideas! and inspiration from our ambassadors
  • Read the Youth STEMM Award blog pages and submit your own blog post for the Youth STEMM Award website

You can find all the relevant links here – https://linktr.ee/YouthSTEMMAward

 

Upgrading Awards

 Q: How can participants upgrade from Bronze to Silver, or Silver to Gold?

To upgrade Awards, participants have two options:

  1. If a participant would like to upgrade while undertaking the current level, we can immediately upgrade this. If they are moving from Bronze to Silver there is no charge and you simply need to get in touch via hq@ysawards.co.uk to request the transfer. If they are moving to Gold there is an additional conversion fee. Please contact hq@ysawards.co.uk for more information if required.
  2. If a participant has completed the previous level or would like to before upgrading, they can sign up for the next level which will incur fees for the full Award and the participants hours will begin from zero. The participant will receive medals and certificates for both Awards.

Please email us on hq@ysawards.co.uk to find out more and further details of the additional costs involved.

 

Resources

 Q: Are you able to provide us with a branding pack to celebrate our participation in YSA?

Certainly – please email our Communications Officer, Ro Procter, on ro.procter@ysawards.co.uk. Ro can provide you with our branding pack, including logos and social media assets, as well as insights into how to share and celebrate your YSA participants on yours and our social media.

Q: Can you provide us with an OFSSTED impact statement?

We would love to! Please email hq@ysawards.co.uk and ask for the OFSTED impact statement.

 

In certain cases, this FAQ document will supersede previous guidance we have issued. This is due to additional allowances we have made because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions that have not been answered, please feel free to reach out on hq@ysawards.co.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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