Bangor University’s Reaching Wider partnership aims to increase Higher Education participation from previously under-represented groups and communities in Wales. Its Bright Sparks project aims to excite and inspire pupils from schools across six regions of North Wales. It uses interactive fun to engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and helps them to develop key skills.
School pupils attend a workshop about wind turbines and how they generate electricity; however the workshop is suddenly interrupted by Professor Sparky and his nephew Eric who burst into the classroom. Eric desperately wants to become a professor, like his uncle, and they have come to the school to ask the pupils to help him achieve his goal.
The pupils complete various tasks and are set challenges for a follow up session in week two where Professor Sparky and Eric return and the pupils present their work. Exam questions are taken from the presentations, and Eric sits his final exam in front of the pupils. This creates an electric atmosphere and the young people are desperate for Eric to pass.
Visit the Reaching Wider website.
The Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust
Engineering Education Programme
Dumfries House is an 18th century stately home in East Ayrshire. Its Engineering Education Centre provides experiential indoor and outdoor learning for Primary and Early Secondary school students, aimed to help inspire and engage young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Funding will help to subsidise school visits from pupils in the South West of Scotland and allow for its development and growth. It will also support family/public engagement events.
The aim is for the Engineering Education programme to reach a wider geographical area and also encourage participation from schools that have not previously had the opportunity to engage in STEM activities in the past.
Visit the Dumfries House website.
Young Enterprise Scotland
Circular Economy Challenge
Young Enterprise Scotland’s mission is to inspire young people to learn and succeed through enterprise. Its Circular Economy Challenge is an exciting and innovative educational project which will prepare the enterprising young minds of today for the economy of tomorrow. A Circular Economy model, which eliminates waste, reduces dependency on rapidly depleting natural resources and addresses the carbon impact of production, is essential to prevent future shortages of food, water and housing.
Over a ten week period, young people will take part in a ‘learning by doing’ experience which introduces them to the Circular Economy and allows them to make and market their own product or service which adheres to Circular Economy principles. Working in teams of six - eight, they will design their product or service; select a company name and job roles; create branding and marketing materials and design a business plan and pitch. At the end of the ten weeks, each Company will present their product to a panel of judges at a Dragon’s Den style ‘Pitch Event’ at their school.
This will allow young people to demonstrate their ‘business’ ideas and their learning over the course of the project. The five top scoring pitches will be invited to take part in a Showcase Circular Economy Challenge Pitch Event.
Visit the Young Enterprise Scotland website.