Mrs Briggs and her amazing exploding rainbows

Hello, I am Leonie Briggs a science teacher and STEAM lead at a large secondary school in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Voluntary I am a STEM Ambassador plus Crest Assessor taking on these roles with the aim of inspiring a new generation into an interest and career in STEM.  I’m passionate about this as believe these young people will provide fantastic opportunities benefitting us all for many years to come. 

Lockdown brought a great number of challenges but ever the optimist I began on a mission to turn a negative into a positive really thinking about people of all ages at home. Taking to my teacher twitter @MrsBriggsDA I began completing science and STEM at home experiments following a step by step guide to allow everyone to join in no matter of age, ability or location.

All materials were available around the house using safe equipment and no stress, independent learning. Included are just a sample of worksheets you’d be able to complete at home. Some are demonstrated here on YouTube…

And here are a sample of my worksheets

News soon spread and I was honoured to be involved in STEM Ambassadors live! it was heart warming to watch thousands of people up and down the country performing my exploding rainbows experiments from the event. My aim was then to include rainbows in a number of my experiments as a symbol of hope during these difficult times. I’ve lost count of the number of experiments now completed to allow everyone to follow along!

Watch Dallas Campbell introduce me doing MY AMAZING EXPLODING RAINBOWS on

Tees Valley Careers website now even better has been entirely redeveloped in response to the coronavirus pandemic to create a new look and feel that is more accessible for students and their parents, offering the best advice possible to help them find a new job or training course.

The £3million UK-first initiative, spearheaded and launched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has taken another step to provide youngsters with information and opportunities helping them on the path to a successful career.

If you are a young person, parent, school or business who would like more information on careers advice or the wider initiative, visit

IndusTRY AT HOME Together

Engineering Together are pleased to be working closely with the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration to help develop their great work into activities for people to TRY AT HOME.

Paula, our Chair, has been involved in the development of videos to accompany activities, and is the first video contributor.Check out this series at, which is set to increase in activities over time.

The Tees Valley Engineering Spark

Today marked the end of the Tees Valleys Engineering Week which is the latest in a series of home resources on the excellent Spark Tees Valley website.
We agree with Spark Tees Valley that “More than anything the Tees Valley was built on its engineering excellence. From the birth of the Iron and Steel industry and now the growth in digital. Engineering isn’t just about making things. It includes innovation”.
So feel free to use these resources our others on our website to Spark interest in the new STEM generation.

Ironstone Trust Engineering Bridges Together

How could we have known? When we engaged last year with the Ironstone Trust of Primary schools on a bridge-and-gazebo-building project, no-one could foresee that within a few months every student’s home would have to become a school as well. 

At Engineering Together we have worked directly with over 200 local children, Yr4 and Yr5, alongside many teaching staff. We’ve introduced some basic creative construction experiences (marshmallows and spaghetti-based) as well a bit of background and theory. We’ve explored the nature and history of the first likely home for one of our real bridges – Ormesby Hall. 

Now, the team has ploughed on instead of giving up. Students are working at home on bridge-builds, taking the next steps – some ambitious, all filled with thought and imagination. Staff, students, families and the technical professions are building bridges actual and symbolic for the future. Trying things out, improving, trying again – the heart of any design process – with enthusiasm and enjoyment. 

At a time of maximum insecurity, this really does feel like Engineering Together.Check out the wonderful bridges the Year 4s at Normanby School made at home with what they have at

Welcome to STEM at Home

Welcome to our new blog which was inspired by the desire to keep people busy (students, parents, teachers, volunteer engineers) during the current lock in.  

We are considering this as an opportunity to make the most of our time having fun whilst learning together with those at home.

Volunteers can use their Gift of Time knowing they are creating something which is both meaningful in the short term and leaves a lasting legacy.

Our Engineering Together volunteers have worked to bring this blog which will select activities suitable to do at home with accompanying short videos to show you how to do it.

We want people to share their experiences and send us what they have created or share their thoughts on what they have done.

There are lots of other ideas on STEM/Fun At Home page for those who wish to make their own adventures.  Let us know how you get on or indeed do your own video clip to share with others