Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects are integral to the UK’s success. The UK is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer, engineering turnover is around £800 billion per year, and whilst the UK makes up only 1% of the world’s population, we produce 10% of the world’s top scientific research. Despite this, it is remarkable to note that even though STEM graduates have the potential to earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits, employers are finding it difficult to recruit STEM skilled staff. And alongside our need for a skilled STEM workforce, it is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society.
In 2013, the government announced a multi-million pound investment into the region’s manufacturing industry, making Yorkshire and the Humber the heart of the UK’s energy sector. Priority sectors include Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM) and Healthcare Technologies. Yorkshire and the Humber is also the UK’s largest food-producing region, employing 18% of the sector’s workforce. The region contributes 7% of the UK's Gross Value Added.
At Maltby Academy, we host a regular STEM bistro event. This informal setting incorporates lunch with a regional STEM ambassador who either works in a specific STEM career or is an academic STEM professional. This opportunity allows students to gain meaningful information from industry experts as part of a question and answer session or following a presentation.
STEM is part of the fabric of MA. Students’ access STEM information in a variety of formats; either as everyday careers and IAG advice, or during one of several annual bespoke STEM careers events. Furthermore students take part in workshops during a STEM week; or may participate in a trip to a STEM specific event at the University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University.
Students gain so many skills through the STEM conduit. Many activities involve team work and problem solving, as well as creativity and consideration of the environment in which they are working. MA students continue to be excellent ambassadors for the Academy as they journey around South Yorkshire and beyond. STEM careers are well published with a wealth of resources, and MA students are able to access that information; interpret how that information will be pertinent to them, and also apply that information to their life choices and goals.
In addition to celebrating the national STEM focus week, national Biology week, national Space week and national Earth Science weeks; and access to major STEM industries and further education/training; the curriculum at MA reflects how STEM is incorporated into everyday practice. Students are able to demonstrate their skills in all STEM subjects at MA. GCSE students opting to study the Triple Science GCSE have excellent grade outcomes; whilst the contribution of STEM subjects to Key Stage 5 student choices is significant. Cross curricular projects such as the year 7 Tomorrow’s Engineer’s initiative, the “Maths in Motion” workshops; national academic competitions such as the annual Key Stage 5 Biology Olympiad and the Key Stage 4 Biology Challenge also encourage students to apply their knowledge of STEM related concepts on a broader stage.