Preston school chosen as STEM champion

Ashton Community Science College in Preston has been selected as a champion Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) for Lancashire and Cumbria.

The school will run out-of-timetable clubs related to the subjects, drawing on the resources of the STEM Club programme which is backed by a grant from the Gatsby Foundation. It will also help other schools and clubs to do the same.

The college will work with secondary schools, sixth form and FE colleges throughout the area to deliver a programme of STEM club professional development workshops and networking events starting this month.

The events will enable teachers and club leaders to share ideas and best practice, and also meet local STEM Ambassadors who can support their clubs. The workshops will cover themes such as how to start a STEM club and making an existing club thrive.

Another important focus is enhancing careers knowledge and club leaders will be signposted to the support available from STEM Learning’s network of over 30,000 STEM Ambassadors, who together represent more than 2,500 employers.

Sarah Connon, assistant headteacher at Ashton Community Science College, said: “Across Lancashire and Cumbria there is extremely high demand for STEM skills, in particular for careers in the manufacturing and digital industries.

Across Lancashire and Cumbria there is extremely high demand for STEM skills

"Within our role, we will assist schools across the region to enhance their curriculum delivery and support them to produce highly skilled STEM employees of the future. Any schools looking for information on forthcoming workshops and events can visit our website and sign-up to our weekly newsletter.”

Dr Alex Brown, STEM support programme manager at STEM Learning said: “STEM clubs are individual to each school, and there is of course, no set formula. However, evidence from our teacher surveys and consultations, including those with no STEM Club experience, highlights a strong desire for face-to-face support at a local level to help them start, sustain and grow their clubs.

“Our STEM Club Champions will act as a hub in their patch and over the next four years deliver hundreds of workshops to drive growth and develop the STEM Club ‘ecosystem’ in their local area. Our ambition is for every young person in the UK to get the chance to engage with a thriving STEM club and we thank Gatsby Foundation for its continued support.”

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