East Midlands Schools to receive £20,000 STEM Enthuse funding!

Heanor Gate Science College, in partnership with the Spencer Academies Trust have been successful in their bid to receive £20,000 worth of STEM training and project resources.

Last  week Dr Gwyneth Heald, (Head of Science at Heanor Gate Science College) and Ian Wood (Director of Science for Spencer Academies Trust) attended the launch of this year’s STEM Enthuse awards partnerships, at which delegates were able to meet their project’s funders, draw up a  final action plan with their local Science Learning Partnership (SLP) lead as well as  hear hints and tips for success from previous partnerships with proven impact.

The Spencer Academies Trust Enthuse partnership is an exciting and ground breaking project aiming to enhance the quality of STEM careers advice on offer to Yr7 and Yr8 students across the eight partnerships schools. The focus is for schools to develop strong and effective links with local industry partners; exposing students at a much earlier stage to the breadth of engineering, technology and science based careers available within the region.

As part of the National drive to embed the Gatsby Career benchmarks by the end of 2020, schools are required to offer every pupil at least seven “meaningful encounters” with employers over the course of their school career. This particular partnership project will help ensure that at least two of these meaningful encounters are STEM orientated, with the long term aim to increase the recruitment of greater numbers of girls into engineering and technical based careers, primarily through increased awareness of the roles, salaries and pathways available to them.

The intention is to create ‘mini-projects’ specific to each school, that develop key scientific and investigative skills, matched not only to the new Science specifications but also the skill set required by STEM employers in the local area. In parallel with this, and throughout the course of the year, there will be opportunity for science teachers from  across the partnership to develop their STEM careers awareness through targeted CPD events; enabling them to speak accurately and with confidence to students about the modern day STEM workplace, career progression and appropriate HE and FE courses.

Commenting at the Enthuse launch event last week SAT Director of Science Ian Wood said “ I am genuinely excited at the potential this project has in changing long held perceptions of STEM based jobs, and I am particularly eager to see greater numbers of girls from across the East Midlands embark on careers in engineering, manufacture and technology. The key to success in this venture is persuading parents (and indeed wider families) of the value, in every sense, of this type of career. I am looking forward to the STEM celebration events that will close each mini-project, and to which we intend to invite families of students to come and celebrate their child’s success but also to find out more about the multitude of STEM careers available in the region.”