Bursary scheme opens to help more young people fall in love with STEM through fun activities

EngineeringUK  is launching its STEM bursary scheme to help school students get creative and inspired by STEM through fun hands-on activities which could lead to creating tomorrow’s astronauts, app designers and AI architects.

With many schools facing financial challenges, the bursaries will be awarded to schools with high proportions of students from groups underrepresented in the engineering profession.

Primary schools which meet the EngineeringUK Priority Schools criteria, can apply for a bursary of £550 to take part in an experience with Neona website that helps primary and secondary teachers introduce their students to future STEM careers, raise their aspirations and explore the excitement of engineering through brilliant activities. Secondary schools can apply for a bursary of £750.

The second bursary – Big Bang at School Blueprint – will offer £500 to secondary schools to help inspire students engage in a STEM themed activity.

Susi Farnworth, Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at EngineeringUK, comments, “We know schools are keen to ensure all their students have access to the very best STEM inspiration activities, but unfortunately funding restrictions can be a challenge for many. We’re delighted to be able to offer our STEM bursaries again this year and look forward to seeing more young people from all backgrounds enjoying exciting STEM experiences and hope this will help to inspire a diverse future generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists.”

Experiences available are broad and vary from AI workshops to bridge building challenges to building earthquake-proof buildings to learning about wind and solar sustainable energy. The Sports Arena Challenge tasks students with designing and modelling a sports arena structure to house multiple sports at a major games and plans for the arena use after the games. Students take on the roles of project managers, architects, civil engineers, quantity surveyors and accountants.

Recent research by EngineeringUK and the Royal Society found girls are switching off from science with just 16% thinking an engineering career was suitable for them and practical hands-on lessons in decline. EngineeringUK is particularly keen for girls and other young people from groups underrepresented in engineering to participate. This also includes SEND students, students from UK minority ethnic backgrounds, and free school meal recipients. Schools are therefore recommended to be inclusive and ensure all students are encouraged to participate, not just those already interested in engineering and tech or other STEM careers.

Teacher Amanda Moffat from Alderman Peel High School, Norfolk, used a bursary for 2 back-to-back team building days with Year 7s and 8s on a Logistics Factory and Pipe Bridge Challenge which involved lots of teamwork and Knex resource.

Amanda commented, “The experience was great – everyone got involved and it’s had a positive impact on the students. The experience allowed students to simulate real life work as an engineer.”

Primary and secondary schools are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply at: www.stemfundingforschools.org.uk

The deadline for applications for the Neon and Big Bang at School bursary scheme is 31 July 2024.

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