Am­bas­sadors for learn­ing

How ex­perts in STEM sub­jects are rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the class­room

EDP Norfolk - - Education - To find your near­est STEM am­bas­sadors, visit­bas­sadors

It’s a well recog­nised fact that at­tract­ing young peo­ple to ca­reers in science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM) can be a challenge, and that those who are en­ter­ing the work­force tend to be sim­i­lar in terms of gen­der and so­cioe­co­nomic back­ground. But there are, across the coun­try, com­mit­ted teams work­ing to re­dress the deficit by send­ing their sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers into schools to lead classes that aim to an­swer the ques­tion asked by so many chil­dren dur­ing their lessons: when will this be use­ful to me?

Known as STEM am­bas­sadors, these teams of en­gi­neers and sci­en­tists turned ed­u­ca­tors come from a va­ri­ety of or­gan­i­sa­tions around the coun­try to in­spire and ex­cite chil­dren with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of STEM be­yond the class­room. Amy Bassie, who over­sees the STEM pro­gramme at Bab­cock In­ter­na­tional Group’s Devon­port Royal Dock­yard site in Ply­mouth says: “We want to in­spire young minds, raise as­pi­ra­tions for the next gen­er­a­tion of en­gi­neers and at­tract di­verse tal­ent by go­ing into a va­ri­ety of schools and com­mu­ni­ties.”

Bab­cock is very con­cerned with at­tract­ing a di­verse range of ap­pli­cants to its team. Amy says: “We fo­cus on di­ver­sity, so we may have a fe­male en­gi­neer go in and talk to the stu­dents about how her job is the best job in the world to re­ally raise the pro­file of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, par­tic­u­larly among younger fe­males.”

More than any­thing, though, the schemes aim to show young peo­ple what op­tions are avail­able to them, em­pha­sis­ing what a ca­reer in STEM ac­tu­ally is. To this end, Bab­cock’s Ply­mouth am­bas­sadors don’t teach ex­clu­sively in the class­room, and have been known, in part­ner­ship with the Royal Navy, to in­vite school­child­ren onto a war­ship for hands on ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.

The STEM am­bas­sador project is, ul­ti­mately, about op­tions. It aims to show chil­dren of all back­grounds and gen­ders what is pos­si­ble for them at a cru­cial time when their as­pi­ra­tions are just be­gin­ning to take form.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.