Cash boost has helped FVC inspire kids into STEM subjects

DYW Forth Valley helps Make STEM Work

Cash boost has helped FVC inspire kids into STEM subjects

Forth Valley College has delivered Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workshops to hundreds of school pupils and members of youth organisations over the past year due to a £10,000 funding boost from Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Forth Valley.

The DYW grant has supported the college in delivering the ‘Famous Four’ outreach programme to a number of schools in the Forth Valley area.

The ‘Famous Four’ is an engaging, exciting and inter-active programme, based on four STEM based environmental cartoon heroes, that school pupils would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience.

The award was a fantastic boost to the outreach work and additional activities regularly carried out by FVC to promote STEM learning directly – which also includes the STEM Summer School, Teacher Take-Over Days and STEM Club to larger-scale events including the Bloodhound Challenge and STEM at the Helix making a valuable contribution to the priorities set out by the Scottish Government in their STEM Education and Training Strategy.

Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Engineering and Science, said: “Given the ever-increasing number of schools and youth organisations that now contact us looking for bespoke programmes for their STEM or science provision, it is evident that the College is viewed as a ‘STEM Hub’ – leading and supporting this provision in our area. Our outreach activity is a proactive way to manage the growing demand for STEM sessions particularly for younger learners, and is one way we can work towards increasing the number of pupils choosing STEM subjects at school and college.”

This outreach work will also support the participation of under-represented groups such as females and forms part of a programme of STEM activity carried out by FVC that also includes professional learning for STEM practitioners from early years to secondary – providing them with the skills, knowledge and autonomy to lead on their own STEM learning.

Pauline Barnaby, FVC’s Development and Fundraising Manager, said: “Thanks to the generous grant awarded by DYW Forth Valley our STEM outreach work continues to bring fun and inspiring STEM learning to communities across the area and shows how additional funds can make a significant impact to our work.

“The positive feedback has been fantastic, which is also reflected in the number of schools and pupils taking part in the programme.

“Promoting links to career opportunities, further learning and employers is also a key aim of the activity and this links to the aims of DYW Forth Valley about engaging young people and making links with employers – it also supports the College’s mission of Making Learning Work.”

Jen Henderson, DYW Forth Valley Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted to support the outreach work of Forth Valley College and offer local business and STEM professionals, the opportunity to create new partnerships and platforms from which to help further develop the young workforce across Forth Valley to their full potential. Offering young people the opportunity to engage with STEM in this way while they are at primary school, should inspire and help to inform their future career choices.”

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