Top Chinese pupils visit East Yorkshire as Global STEM Awards launched
A top Chinese school has chosen East Yorkshire as a centre of excellence for studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Seventy primary school students from Beijing took part in events and activities at the University of Hull, Hymers College and Hornsea School. The visit has been organised by UK STEM – a company which works with schools and industry to promote STEM and to prevent a huge shortfall of engineers in the UK. The company has also set up Global STEM Awards to boost pupil participation from primary age onwards.
Mike Cargill, UK STEM's managing director, said, "The Chinese have a high regard for the UK's approach to teaching STEM subjects and asked us to organise this visit from one of their most prestigious schools. The parents of these students are high-ranking members of Chinese society such as politicians and diplomats.
"At UK STEM we are dedicated to promoting engineering and technology careers to young people so rather than just doing academic course work our practical activities show them how their knowledge and skills can be used to forge an exciting and worthwhile career.
"Our Chinese colleagues share in these values and they are keen for their students to experience UK education first hand."
Meanwhile, UK STEM have set up a new awards system to encourage children to pursue careers in engineering and technology.
Research has shown that the UK economy will create 1.2 million jobs in the engineering sector in coming years but the lack of qualified graduates will leave a shortfall of 59,000 candidates a year.
UK STEM have joined forces with the University of Hull, Hymers College and Hornsea School to develop the Global STEM Award system.
Mr Cargill explained, "We are providing a framework from primary school onwards to help both teachers and students understand the connection between STEM activities and the influence that they have in the real world.
"Our system will motivate students to complete a range of exciting STEM projects and present them with awards that they can be proud of.
"Students will gain bronze, silver and gold awards by completing a variety of projects. This will take them on a journey across the seven continents of the world, as well as space and marine, to enrich their understanding of different cultures and eco-systems.
"The projects will fire their imagination and show them how STEM-based skills can be used to make a real difference to people's lives."
He added, "There is going to be a huge demand for graduates with STEM skills in the very near future but forecasts predict a worrying shortfall which will have a detrimental impact on individual companies and the UK economy.
"By taking part in the Global STEM Awards programme students will gain an understanding of the careers available to them using STEM skills and qualifications and hopefully set them on a path to a career that will benefit them and UK industry.
"We are looking forward to working with schools across the UK and with companies who may wish to sponsor these awards in their area.
"A cluster of schools have already registered their interest and the University of Wolverhampton plan to roll out the awards to 13 of their partner schools."