Unlocking STEM futures with summer engineering courses

Apr 5, 2024

young multi-ethnic female students in a science lesson

By Tasha Raymond, Senior Marketing Executive at The Smallpeice Trust

In the dynamic landscape of the 21st century, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields continue to be the driving force behind innovation and progress. However, despite the pivotal role they play, there remains a persistent challenge in attracting young minds into STEM careers. Recognising this, The Smallpeice Trust is proud to be at the forefront of offering transformative summer engineering courses, igniting a passion for STEM among the youth and paving the way for a future generation of innovators.

Engineering Careers Landscape

One of the most significant barriers to entry into STEM fields, particularly for young women, has been the lack of representation and exposure. There are many organisations and businesses who are working hard to tackle this and to make sure it is an accessible and attractive career option to young people from all backgrounds. At The Smallpeice Trust we address this issue head-on through courses like "Girls Into Engineering." By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, these events empower young women to explore their potential in traditionally male-dominated fields, breaking down stereotypes and fostering greater diversity in STEM.

Summer of STEM 2024

Our #summerofstem courses cater to diverse interests and preferences, meaning that there's something for everyone. From Aerospace to Biomedical Engineering, from virtual programs to residential experiences, the variety offered allows students to delve into areas that align with their passions and aspirations. This exposure not only broadens their horizons but also gives them a glimpse into the real-world applications of STEM, inspiring them to pursue these fields further.

The impact of these summer outreach programs goes beyond mere exposure; they are instrumental in helping to shape the future workforce in STEM industries. By providing hands-on experience and practical skills, students develop a deeper understanding of engineering concepts and methodologies. Whether it's building structures, programming robots, or designing sustainable solutions, these courses instil a sense of confidence and competence in young learners, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

One of the students who attended our Future Cities Virtual Course, commented: “I really enjoyed the practical tasks. As it was an online course, I didn't expect to be doing any practical work so the bridge design and foundations challenges were really fun. It was great to learn the theory behind these activities before tackling them too.”

We also offer residential experiences, which enhances the learning journey by fostering collaboration and camaraderie among participants. Engaging in team projects and problem-solving activities not only strengthens technical skills but also cultivates essential soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork. We believe these holistic learning experiences equip students for academic success and the demands of the professional world.

A student who attended our Biomedical Engineering Residential Course last year commented, “I have enjoyed the people here and the fact that I have learnt so many skills that sometimes school doesn't always teach us.” 

Shaping the future of engineering

In an era where the global challenges we face are increasingly complex and interconnected, the need for STEM expertise has never been more critical. The Smallpeice Trust's summer engineering courses play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators. By equipping young minds with the knowledge, skills, and passion to tackle real-world problems, these initiatives are not just shaping individual futures but also contributing to the collective advancement of society.

As we look towards the future, it’s essential that we continue to invest in STEM outreach initiatives. By expanding access to quality STEM education and fostering a culture of curiosity and creativity, we can unlock the full potential of our youth and build a brighter, more innovative future for generations to come. Together, let us embrace the transformative power of STEM and empower young minds to shape tomorrow's world.

If you know any young people in years 9 to 12 (or UK equivalent) who might benefit from our summer courses, please do encourage them to apply here.

We also have a handful of fully funded places available across our range of courses, review the criteria and apply here.

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