The Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) currently undertakes activities to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers to high school students.
The scheme is being made available to children under 11 and at schools in East Wales. The activities for young people include developing skills in software design and digital manufacturing and meeting industry role models to encourage children to pursue science qualifications.
The scheme also includes activities which promote STEM subjects among young women and challenge gender stereotypes.
Kirsty Williams said:
“It’s important for economic growth in Wales that we have enough people going into STEM careers. So the younger we give our children the opportunity to learn about science – and in a fun and engaging way – the more likely they are to build the confidence and skills to study science subjects later in their careers.
“One of my priorities is also to get more young women into STEM subjects. Expanding the scheme to younger students and to more parts of Wales will allow more girls to believe a career in science or engineering is for them.
“We know through science that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I look forward to this action getting the reaction we want – to get even more young people in Wales into science!”
Some of Engineering Education Scheme Wales’ activities include:
- F1 in Schools (Years 7 to 13)
A competition where teams of pupils design and manufacture CO2-powered F1 racing cars using computer design software. The learners develop their knowledge of physics, aerodynamics, design and manufacturing in a practical and imaginative way, as well as skills such as leadership and teamwork.
- Girls into STEM (Years 8 & 9)
This initiative aims to encourage female pupils to take an active interest in STEM subjects prior to making their GCSE choices. Visits are arranged for groups of pupils to a company in Wales or university department. Companies hosting visits currently include Ford, Wafer Fab, Safran Seats, Viridor, Sony and BT.
- Tomorrow’s Engineers – 11 to 14 year olds
A team-based activity to construct and programme a LEGO robot to complete aviation-themed missions and solve other engineering problems.
- Headstart Cymru – Year 12
Residential courses to give students the opportunity to spend time at an Engineering, Product Design or Computing Department at university prior to submitting their UCAS application.
- Jaguar Primary School Challenge – Years 2 to 6
The Challenge is a chance to inspire young minds to become engineers by designing and manufacturing the fastest car possible.