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Aimhigher Leicestershire celebrates win at International Space Olympics

by Guest Blogger 2. December 2009 16:23

 

A Leicester student is the first non-Russian to be crowned winner of this year's International Space Olympics, after four Leicester colleges received funding from Aimhigher Leicester City and Leicestershire. Jonathan Bootle, 17, from Evington in Leicester, was crowned winner after he  travelled to Moscow to compete in the prestigious competition. His achievement was remarkable as it was the first time in 17 years that the title did not go to a teenager from the host country. His experience included a chance to speak to astronauts in the International Space Station. 

The competition sees students from all over the world take exams in maths, physics and creative writing – all based on space-related questions. In total 24 A-level students from four Leicester colleges attended, spending 10 days in Moscow. Several won prizes. Jonathan, a student of Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College in Leicester, said it was an amazing experience. He said: "I couldn't believe it when they said I'd won. I honestly would have never believed that could have happened. It's certainly something to talk about in my interviews to get into university.” Jonathan's prize was a Gagarin Medal and a certificate enrolling him into the Cosmonautics Federation of Russia. 

The team was led by Gateway College teacher Stuart Gill, backed by colleagues from other colleges. He won a Gagarin medal in recognition of the 10th time he had brought students to the Russian capital. He said: "It's a fantastic education opportunity for students. They mature tremendously and make friends for life. This year is an overwhelming achievement. They've done Leicester very proud." 

Neil Stock, co-ordinator for Aimhigher, which encourages students from backgrounds who would not normally consider going to university, said: "We want to stretch and challenge the more able students to go on to higher education and the International Space Olympics does just that."

Aimhigher Leicestershire: http://www.vesa.org.uk/aimhigher-leicester-shire/ 

Neil Stock, Aimhigher Leicestershire

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Diploma Employer Champions Network

by Guest Blogger 23. September 2009 12:46

  

Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and the East Midlands are all close to my heart as I've spent almost 20 years with Toyota based in the Midlands and many years in manufacturing before that. This experience has left me convinced that we can do more to excite and educate young people about engineering and other STEM careers.  

I am not alone in believing we need to improve how we prepare young people for the world of work. CBI research shows that 16% of employers are dissatisfied with graduates' business awareness and 33% are dissatisfied with school leavers' business experience. Plus 24% of employers are dissatisfied with school leavers' key skills such as communication, team working and problem solving.   

This is why I set up the Diploma Employer Champions Network. Now, over 150 employers from organisations of all sizes, in the public, private and third sector, all believe that the new 14-19 Diplomas, in subjects like Engineering, IT, Manufacturing and Product Design, Science, Retail Business and Environmental & Land-based Studies, are taking mainstream education in an exciting direction. Not only do they give young people a career headstart, they help answer the needs of employers by providing young people with a more rounded education. 

Designed by employers for business needs, encouraging a broad understanding of industry from the age of 14, filled with practical mathematics, project-based skills and work-related learning, the new 14-19 Diploma is bringing learning to life by showing the relevance of what's taught in classrooms to the world of work. 

We have a good tradition of cutting edge engineering in this country, our infrastructure and ability to manage and innovate mean that manufacturing and science should be at the centre of a new post-recession economy. There is a big opportunity for young people who choose STEM subjects, especially now as our engineering workforce is aging. Sector skills council Semta estimates that there is an annual requirement for some 38,000 new recruits into UK engineering each year to replace those retiring. Employers, like me, welcome the new Diploma as an opportunity to excite young people about engineering and other key industries, and continue to develop our strong position in this sector. 

As a Network, we aim to raise awareness of these new qualifications. Members of our Network are available to speak at events about the Diploma, and we always welcome new employer members who feel, as we do, that this is a change to be embraced and supported. As employers we need to take this opportunity to invest in young people who will be our workforce of the future. 

You can learn more about Diplomas or the Champions Network at www.diplomachampions.co.uk, or you can contact the team via [email protected] if you know someone who might want to join the Network, if you're keen to explore having a Diploma Employer Champion speak at an event or simply to find out more about it.

Guest Blogger: Sir Alan Jones, SEMTA

Hear more from Sir Alan Jones at the forthcoming Forum Event - http://stempartnershipforumevent.eventbrite.com/ 

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The British Science Association hosts East Midlands NSEW Briefing Event

by Guest Blogger: PhilipB 16. July 2009 11:10

National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW) 2010 (12 - 21 March) will be a unique opportunity to engage and enthuse new audiences with the wonder of science and the miracles of modern engineering. 

The British Science Association is hosting an East Midlands NSEW Briefing Evening (5th October 09). 

This will be an opportunity for new event organisers to learn about the 2010 theme (Earth), find how to organise an event, raise cash, gain publicity and network with other organisers new and old and how to apply for grants including the East Midlands one, details of which will be announced at the event. 

This event will be of particular interest to teachers, who will be able to find out about how to link the theme with inspiring activities in their classrooms.  But there are many other groups who could stage events including libraries, environmental groups, colleges, and universities. 

To book tickets please visit www.nsewem.org.uk. 

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Bridge To School Events

by Guest Blogger 14. April 2009 12:34

The Bridge to Schools scheme is a new and exciting part of Institution of Civil Engineers East Midlands strategy to raise awareness of the work of civil engineers and their contribution to society.  

At a typical school 3-day event, four groups per day of up to 30 pupils (aged between 9 and 13) spend one hour learning about civil engineering, building the bridge and then walking over it.  Myself and up to 3 Ambassadors challenge the pupils to work in two teams, solve any problems together and understand how the bridge keeps their teacher off the ground!  Pupils are also told about the large number of exciting careers made available to them if they continue with their science, maths and engineering subjects. 

The project was initially launched in back November 2008 to ICE East Midlands Ambassadors and potential new recruits   Bridge to School events have currently taken place twice in Nottinghamshire and twice in Leicestershire, with events booked up for the summer term in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.  

Malcolm Jackson, East Midlands Regional Director said: “ICE East Midlands is committed to encouraging young people into civil engineering.  The Bridge to Schools project is a key part of our schools initiative and we are extremely pleased to have been able to work in partnership with school staff and ICE ambassadors in achieving our objectives.”

Guest Blogger: Bridget Burke, Bridge to Schools Co-ordinator, Institution of Civil Engineers

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Come Alive with Science needs scientists

by Guest Blogger: SarahW 29. October 2008 11:15

There's a STEM revolution going on in the East Midlands. Across the region, thousands of young people are discovering that science, technology, engineering and maths are creative subjects - fun, exciting, engaging and well worth thinking about for further study and careers. 

We are currently looking for anyone based in the East Midlands who is working in a STEM-related organisation and interested in assisting school students and staff to devise and run their own creative STEM activities and events during National Science and Engineering Week (6th-15th March 2009).  We welcome inspiring practitioners with a STEM background from industry or academia, including undergraduates, postgraduates and postdocs. Practitioners will receive payment. 

We are particularly looking for people in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. 

Come Alive with Science provides an opportunity for young people to recognise STEM subjects as creative, and that they are based on exploration and curiosity. As part of the Ignition* programme, secondary schools across the East Midlands will be offered support, enabling the development of Creative Science Games through collaborations between primary and secondary students, artists, teachers and scientists. 

For further details of how to get involved, please contact: Sarah Walley, Programme Manager, Ignition* on . 

Ignition* is being delivered by Ignite! in collaboration with Creative Partnerships, and funded by the East Midlands Development Agency. http://www.ignitefutures.org.uk/ignite-projects/creative-science/

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Aimhigher report brings about great discussions amongst the STEM Partnership

by Guest Blogger: JodieD 19. September 2008 12:03

Aimhigher East Midlands have developed a report to establish a baseline for the supply of STEM skills in the region.  This report aims to pull together a wide range of datasets, relating to all stages of the educational life-cycle; from Key Stage 1, through to progression to higher education and beyond.  This report has sparked some healthy discussions amongst the STEM Partnership and will also help set a baseline for benchmarking against progress of emda STEM projects.  This report will be of even more value when coupled with the DIUS lead study to analyse the demand for STEM skills from all employers and the UK’s future needs for STEM Skills.  Both make good reading in preparation for the STEM Forum Event in November this year!

To read to the report please click here.  

 

 

 

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the East Midlands STEM Partnership, its partners or funders, including East Midlands Development Agency.

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