The UK’s longest-running science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roadshow for schools engaged its one millionth pupil at Blackburn Central High School today.
Delivered jointly by BAE Systems, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, the Schools STEM Roadshow, which began in 2005, currently visits over 420 schools across the UK each year. It provides a highly interactive experience for students aged 10 to 13 years old in primary and secondary schools and is designed to inspire excitement in STEM subjects.
This year’s show focuses on magnets and the important role they play in everything from healthcare, to transport to electricity generation. A series of experiences and demonstrations showcase practical applications of science concepts and bring them to life for the students.
Tracy Reeves, Assistant Headteacher at Blackburn Central High School said: “We’ve welcomed the roadshow into our school for many years and have always found it to be inspirational, interactive and informative for our students. We are thrilled to help celebrate the participation of the 1 millionth pupil as we welcome every opportunity to enrich the lives of our students and increase their awareness of the world around them, whilst raising aspirations. Our families are really supportive of our approach to increase ambition; we know this as many of our students go on to study sciences and engineering once they leave Blackburn Central High School.”
Richard Hamer, Education and Skills Director, BAE Systems, added: “We’re committed to supporting young people and local communities across the UK and over the last 17 years, the Schools Roadshow has proved to be an effective way to encourage young people to explore STEM subjects and consider future career opportunities. These activities help companies like ours develop a diverse and talented pipeline of apprentices and graduates whose skills are critical to the UK maintaining its leadership position in technology and innovation.”
Wing Commander Russ Barnes, Senior Officer Commanding Youth and STEM, Royal Air Force, commented: “The RAF recognises that raising awareness of the value of STEM subjects and their links to future career opportunities is essential for an RAF workforce that comprises more than 50% engineers and engineer technicians. Since 2008, we have provided STEM educational support across the UK, through a blend or direct and indirect engagement and offered free, curriculum mapped STEM resources to schools. Through engagements like the Schools STEM Roadshow we aim to provide opportunity to as many young people as possible so that we, as a society, have the largest number of STEM qualified people possible.”
Commander Dave Pinder, STEM Engagement Lead, Royal Navy, said: “The Royal Navy’s delighted that it has helped fund the Roadshow for a number of years to encourage young people to take STEM subjects at school. The positive, enthusiastic and humorous delivery mechanism we believe opens up the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to young people who will have never considered such subjects could be fun or rewarding. Our association with the roadshow along with BAE Systems and the RAF has clearly had an impact on so many young people over the years and we are delighted to be here today celebrating the delivery to the one millionth young person!”
BAE Systems, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy currently employ more than 50,000 engineers across the UK and are committed to engaging with young people on STEM activities to encourage and support a highly skilled workforce of the future.