The challenge to get children from all backgrounds to take up STEM subjects is one being fully embraced by DE&S which has worked with more than 800 school children and 40 teachers in the local area over the last 12 months.
Published 16th May 2018.
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Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), based at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, is helping to boost teenagers’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Vinney Green Secure Children’s Home looks after some of the most challenging young people in Britain.
The unit, in Emersons Green, South Gloucestershire, accommodates up to 24 young boys and girls, aged between 10 and 17, many of whom have committed serious crimes.
Often arriving with a history of difficult and challenging behavior their education is likely to have been one of the first things to suffer before entering the unit, with science and maths often proving difficult to hold their interest.
Within Vinney Green’s environment of specialised help, DE&S is supporting the youngsters develop a range of skills, build self-esteem, and changes in attitude.
DE&S STEM ambassadors get young people to re-engage with learning
So far, six STEM ambassadors have led classes at the unit’s education centre aimed at encouraging the teenagers to re-engage with learning by using new and interactive activities such as bottle rockets and robot programming.
DE&S STEM ambassador Luke Sullivan, said:
“Our aim was to showcase just a little of the world of engineering and how exciting and varied it can be. We were able to show that engineering is more than overalls and fixing vehicles, and how STEM makes a valuable contribution to society. The Space themed day proved a particular hit.”
The secure children’s home provides at least 25hrs of education per week and the overriding aim of the unit’s educational programmes is to raise the children’s self-esteem and provide the teenagers with as many opportunities to experience success as possible.
Rona Chellew, from Vinney Green Secure Children’s Home, said:
“Positive pathways are central to Vinney Green’s philosophy of supporting young people. To have the support and engagement of an organisation such as DE&S is invaluable and has already proved a huge success with the young people here.”
Councillor Jon Hunt, South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People added:
“Vinney Green is a trailblazing facility which allows us to take our most challenging young people and help give them the support they need to turn their lives around. With this exciting new STEM initiative we can offer these young people a pathway out of delinquency and help fill our skills gap too.”
The challenge to get children from all backgrounds to take up technical subjects is one being fully embraced by DE&S which has worked with more than 800 school children and 40 teachers in the local area over the last 12 months.
As well as supporting the Primary Engineer Leaders Award, which aims to engage school children in every-day engineering, DE&S has been sending its STEM ambassadors into primary and secondary schools around the region with the task of encouraging pupils to consider a future in STEM and thereby addressing a national skills shortage in those areas.
Chief of Materiel (Air) Air Marshal Julian Young and DE&S STEM Champion, said:
“As an organisation, DE&S is committed to supporting and giving back to our local community.
“It’s important for all young people to have the opportunity to learn more about their potential interests and future career choices. It’s fantastic to see them enthused by the STEM activities they have taken part in and the people they have spoken to about technology-based projects. It doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s what you do that counts and we want to help young people realize their potential.”