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Next generation of STEM stars enjoy college taster day

13 November 2017
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Oaklands College’s Engineering team gave the next generation an insight into a career in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) sharpening their skills on a recent taster day.

The group of 28 students from Welwyn Garden City’s Sir Fredrick Osborn School spent at day at the college as part of the nationwide scheme ‘Routes Into STEM,’ delivered by the Engineering Development Trust.

The scheme, which is rolled out across the UK, is a taster course especially for Year 9 and 10 students to understanding the wealth of opportunities STEM can offer in a future career path after their GCSEs. In addition to their day at the College, students went on to visit experts at the University of Hertfordshire and spent a day with local Engineering employer Leonardo.

During the Oaklands visit students put their STEM knowledge and skills to the test with a range of practical activities, including soldering, CAD design and 3D printing. After designing a keyring using CAD, students were able to see it brought to life by the College’s 3D printing equipment in their Engineering Resource Centre.

The scheme which is currently supported by nearly 70 colleges, universities and employers across the UK is a nationwide initiative which is encouraging the younger generation to consider career opportunities in STEM via hands on experience and contextual learning. 

It is the third consecutive year the College’s Engineering department have taken part. Head of Department Sian Williams said: “To get the opportunity to share our facilities and the expertise of our staff with the next generation is a great opportunity provided by Routes into STEM.

“The activities sparked some great questions from the pupils and really got them thinking about how STEM skills are applicable to such a wide range of careers. It was a pleasure to have them join us.”

Routes into STEM Co-ordinator Steve Ross said: “A huge thank you to the Oaklands team for putting on such an interesting day for Sir Frederic Osborn School. The exercises were really ‘hands on’ and the soldering was a real first for many of the students, you could see the pride in their faces when they were finished with the activities. They will remember Oaklands without a doubt!”

To find out more about Routes into STEM, visit:  http://www.etrust.org.uk/routes-stem

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