Jan Peters (left) with School Gate SET Mums, Inbal Ringel and Lisa Ward

As you may have heard, The School Gate SET has just held its first workshop for STEM-savvy parents! We aimed to inspire them to provide fun Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) activities for primary school children.

The Hertfordshire mums met in Hemel Hempstead for a half-day introduction led by Dr Jan Peters – a champion of diversity and inclusion in science and engineering. All are passionate about promoting science and engineering to their own children. One participant, Inbal said, “Already my 9 year old is saying she finds science boring. It doesn’t have to be like that – I want to show her how much fun it can be.”

The workshop involved practical activities for School Gate SET volunteers to consider introducing into their children’s schools. Jan Peters ran a prototype for School Gate SET in primary schools around the South Coast so she is very sensitive to the needs of busy parents:

“Some may enjoy overseeing activities for a whole class, others might only want to set up a lunchtime hands-on ‘explora-table’ for kids to drop by. Some will prefer to be organisers and bring in experienced STEM Ambassadors to lead activities. We are flexible for volunteers to work in the way that suits them and their school best!

At The School Gate SET, we also encourage parents to get in contact with national and local SET networks and bring them into schools. Primary teachers are often so overwhelmed they don’t have time to explore all the offers of exciting materials and resources out there – that’s where School Gate SET could make such a huge difference.

Our workshops are funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s “Ingenious” awards scheme. We also aim to support parents on a career break by building their skills and contacts, encouraging them to return back to a career in SET. As a bonus, participants are offered a free online strengths assessment and coaching.

If you are interested in volunteering with us (we need parents who are engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians) please contact Helen Roberts: info@schoolgateset.org.uk. Priority will be given to parents/carers on a career break or working part-time, who can volunteer in school time.

Herts Mums get SET!
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2 thoughts on “Herts Mums get SET!

  • 29th January 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hi there,

    I’m really interested in doing this! Unfortunately I don’t live in one of the areas you currently run in, but I’d love to help start it. I live in Hereford.

    I have a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and have two children in primary school (reception and year 1). I don’t work in a STEM role. I have a part time freelance admin position.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind regards,


    • 30th January 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Hi, Lindsey.

      Great to hear from you! We originally envisaged the School Gate SET providing mainly online support, so we are happy for parents to get involved, regardless of location. The first step would be to talk to your children’s school – perhaps ask if they have plans for Science Week in March – to see what sort of help they would like and how that fits with your availability. If you need suggestions for activities for a specific age-group or to fit with this term’s topic then, please, e-mail us or ask in our Facebook group.

      We appreciate, though, that it can be more motivating (and fun!) to be part of a group of parents who can share ideas and experiences in person. If you would like to start a local group in Hereford, we can provide fliers to put up in cafes/libraries/primary schools etc.


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