An education outreach programme that includes 139 recognised science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) ambassadors has been launched by engineering technology company, Renishaw. Apprentices, graduates and engineers at Renishaw volunteer to support and inspire young people, and offer practical advice from their own experiences. The aim is to encourage them to pursue career opportunities in an engineering or technology related career.
This year, Renishaw will host over 65 events and workshops for young people, assisted by the STEM ambassadors. The activities target students from ages nine to 18 (year groups five to 13).
The main aim of these workshops is to add real life context to the students learning and bring maths and science alive, whilst also linking into parts of the school curriculum. In the sessions, STEM ambassadors focus on developing problem solving skills, team building, product design, career pathways in engineering and learning how Renishaw itself operates and what it can offer in terms of career opportunities.
Each workshop involves a creative project that can be taken home, so that students can be proud of their engineering achievements and share them with friends, teachers and family. This means that the value of the workshop extends past the day itself.
The STEM ambassadors are based across Renishaw’s Gloucestershire, South Wales and Stone (Staffordshire) sites. The Miskin site also has a dedicated educational facility, the Fabrication Development Centre (FDC), where local schools and colleges can visit to enhance their learning about science, technology, engineering and maths.
“To tackle the engineering skills gap, companies will need to fill 182,000 positions by 2022,” explained Rebecca Bound, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “Our STEM ambassadors support workshops that complement the school curriculum and get children excited about engineering through practical, creative projects.
“We are seeing the results in an increase in apprentice applications, some of whom first heard about Renishaw when a STEM ambassador visited their school or when they came on a school visit to Renishaw.”
“STEM ambassadors volunteer to support students, but also develop their own skills,” explained Siobhan Denniff, Events Coordinator of the Education Outreach Programme at Renishaw. “Through these workshops ambassadors can gain experience and develop communication skills, build confidence and improve project planning and presentation skills. As representatives of Renishaw, STEM ambassadors are proud to know they have done their bit to inspire the engineers of the future.”
Renishaw supports a range of projects and organisations that aim to inspire young people to consider STEM careers. The company also runs work experience weeks that cater for over 100 pupils.