EngineeringUK helps Corporate Members showcase STEM careers in BBC Bitesize School Tour

Dec 21, 2021

This year’s BBC Bitesize School Tour focused on careers in innovation. The aim of this School Tour was to open up about the world of STEAM, raise awareness of the various opportunities available in these sectors, whilst giving students practical advice on how they can pursue a career in these fields.

EngineeringUK were approached by the BBC, who were looking for local panellists who have a passion for their industry and for inspiring young people, and we thought this was an ideal opportunity for our Corporate Members.

Research shows that a joined-up, strategic approach to regular STEAM intervention is most likely to have a lasting impact on young people. To support this, we provide Corporate Members with a dedicated business partnership manager for the development of a STEM engagement strategy, and this includes introductions to relevant partners to help coordinate activities. Corporate Members who participated in the BBC Bitesize School Tour included Jacobs, Uniper, Siemens, Stantec, and Thales.

Jacobs showcases their participation in the School Tour

Three engineers from Jacobs took part, which included: Claire Griffiths, Technical Manager who talked about nuclear fusion at a school in Billingham, Nisha Abraham, Graduate Process Engineer who discussed nuclear at Jarrow School in Tyneside, and Dominic Coy, a physicist who talked about Space at a Gateshead school.

Commenting on her discussion on nuclear, Nisha said: 'I really enjoyed taking part in the BBC Bitesize session at Jarrow School, the students were welcoming and asked interesting questions. As this was my first time taking part in an event like this, it’s made me keen to get more involved in STEAM activities in the future.'

Claire Griffiths commented: 'The day with the BBC Bitesize Tour was great. It was a really good opportunity to engage with children at secondary school level and to try to inspire them to consider futures in STEM careers. The other panellists were from very different industries but as a result brought something a bit different to the table to inspire them. The kids were really engaged and had some really great questions. One year 10 pupil in particular had not come across nuclear fusion before and came to find me after the session to ask more about it and what would be good resources to look at. Apparently this was not a usual occurrence but the idea of fusion really sparked an interest in her which is great.'

Victoria Richards, Senior Project Manager at Jacobs stated: 'I was thrilled when Moira (the Business Partner Manager for Jacobs at EngineeringUK) asked for inspiring young engineers from Jacobs to participate in the BBC Bitesize School Tour focused on Innovation. Claire, Nisha and Dom did an amazing job supporting the local schools in the North East. It is so important that we showcase to the next generation the exciting projects we are involved in and how rewarding a career in engineering is. It is crucial that we grow our future talent as successors in such a prestigious profession, to continue to develop innovative solutions that will positively impact our world.'

Uniper reflects on their participation in the School Tour

Uniper is an EngineeringUK Corporate Member, this is what their Lead Electrical Engineer Garrick Simpson said about his involvement in the BBC Bitesize School Tour: 'The format of the day was great, it was split in to 3 sessions aimed at year 8, year 9 and year 10s. The way it was run was professional and was to dispel any myths and give the guys information on potential jobs etc. in the area and to give them an insight into what the future holds for the businesses represented. There was the chance for the guys to ask questions at the end and these were wide ranging.'

Thales comments on the School Tour

Thales is a Corporate Member, EngineeringUK reached out to them to connect with BBC Bitesize for their participation in this year’s BBC Bitesize School Tour.

Charlene Simms, the STEM Education and Outreach Manager at Thales, reflected on their participation and said: 'To have one of our STEM Ambassador’s be part of such a fantastic project is something Thales are very grateful for. BBC Bitesize have created some wonderful resources to support students, in particular during the recent pandemic, and to be asked to contribute to their work has been such a rewarding opportunity.'

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