It was scary at first.. it still is really. My employer decided to take on 2 local schools for the GO4SET scheme. What is it and why it is important? What is STEM?
What is STEM? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM is an organisation that ensures all young people in the UK are given full access and receiving world-leading STEM education.
The UK needs to increase the number of students taking on STEM subjects in GCSE level. Go4Set aims to engage business in helping STEM by contributing and inspiring students. To get students involve in projects in which they get exposure and insight to the context of working in Engineering and Technology. Research figures show that exposure to STEM related employers at school age encourage students to choose Science related choices for A-Levels and College courses which will then eventually lead to a study of STEM degrees or employment.
Below are key benefits for students and employers according to the Go4Set website.
Key benefits for Young People & Educators:
- Students can understand STEM application in a real-world setting
- Creates an opportunity to influence subject and career choice
- Students develop employability skills to help with future study and employment potential
- Links are developed with local industry for further engagement and learning potential
Key benefits for Employers:
- Showcases STEM careers and career pathways available
- Helps to address preconceptions of STEM careers
- Creates an opportunity to develop own staff through *mentoring and leadership skills
- Can help meet Corporate Social Responsibility objectives
- Can assist with marketing for contracts and future business
Being a mentor is a lot of fun, self-inspiring and rewarding. Having witnessed the group’s progress week-by-week, I felt empowered and it inspired me to continue. Being a mentor helped my confidence, it also made me familiarised what I already do. This has enabled me to answer technical questions they may have and to provide an input to their ideas.
Our project is based on an Eco-Hotel in Hawaii. Since this project didn’t have a budget we all went crazy towards spending the eco-friendly way. Geothermal energy was our main power source, opting hydro and wind turbines out of the picture due to unreliability. We also developed a scale model of our hotel using straws and a 3D printed version of the main hotel building. We have mapped out the pipes for the electricity and given the judges facts and figures for running the hotel. Inspirations for the hotel structure and design comes from Sydney Opera House, Parliament Building Georgia and Tennerife Opera House.
The judges were impressed with our concrete choice, fly-ash concrete. They have noted that most of our materials can be sourced locally aside from this one; we were asked as to why we chose this and how are we going to get it to site. The group answered these questions very well, citing that 43% of it is recycled and it can easily be acquired from mainland US. It helps the environment using recycled substance and putting them to good use.
After a brilliant delivery and presentation, my team settled in for the Big Bang Fair held at the University of Exeter Sports Park. A number of STEM companies showcased their products and activities that they have prepared for the students to enjoy.
The closing ceremony of the Big Bang Fair includes the award presentation for the Go4Set. My group won the Best Overall Award and as their mentor, I was extremely proud and happy for them. All our hardwork has paid off, I enjoyed being a mentor and I feel very productive to have helped them achieve such an award.