A PARTNERSHIP between a leading provider of nuclear sector services and the UK’s largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education organisation will prepare Cumbria school pupils to seize exciting future opportunities.
The partnership aims to work with teachers and wider influencers to increase attainment, improve perceptions and raise aspirations for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
Six schools are taking part, three secondary – St Joseph’s Catholic HS in Workington, Netherhall and Workington Academy – and three primary schools, Beckstone, Dearham and Seaton.
Teachers involved in the two-year partnership will receive advanced continuing professional development (CPD) training in delivering STEM subjects through STEM Learning’s specialists, both at its locally based Science Learning Partnership and at the National STEM Learning Centre in York.
The work will run alongside the STEM Ambassador, currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, which enables industry experts to conduct exciting and engaging STEM related projects with young people.
The initiative is supported by the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership – a group of local people and organisations, including Nuclear Waste Services, which exists to encourage a dialogue with the local community in order to develop an understanding about whether a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste would be right for Allerdale.
Tracy Badham, Social Responsibility Manager at Nuclear Waste Services, said: “This is a great opportunity to enhance Cumbria’s talent pool in the science and technology sector and will help to show young people what great opportunities are out their to help guide their career path.
“It’s a really positive start. It will help to give us an insight into where we can support and hopefully feed an appetite for continued learning.”
Deborah Naylor who represents Inspira on the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership, said: “The Allerdale GDF Community Partnership is really pleased to support this initiative which will create essential skills development opportunities for young people while Allerdale participates in the siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). This ensures that, whatever the outcome of the process, the GDF programme’s presence in the community is of value to local people.”
Owen McAteer, Regional Network Lead for STEM Learning in Cumbria and the North East, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Nuclear Waste Services on this Enthuse Partnership. We know they and the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership is committed to supporting the life chances of all young people in Allerdale.
“This new Enthuse Partnership with Nuclear Waste Services will enable us to carry out intensive work with the pupils and teachers at the participating schools to drive our young people’s engagement with STEM subjects and challenge perceptions some of them may have of STEM careers, putting them in a strong position to grasp the numerous opportunities the sector presents for them.”
ENTHUSE Partnerships are a two-year collaboration between STEM Learning, a funder, and a number of schools or colleges.
Through this partnership, pupils will take part in STEM Ambassador activities delivered by volunteers from industry. The partnership will then use teacher Continued Professional Development to enable these activities to be incorporated into the classroom and linked to the curriculum.
In addition, the schools involved will be provided with support to establish extra-curricular STEM Clubs for pupils, and teachers will also have the opportunity to take part in industry placements.