Dozens of children and young people from across Nottingham had a chance to be inspired by some of the city’s biggest and best science and technology companies.
Children and young people from city schools and community projects met with companies like BioCity Nottingham and Confetti in the atrium of Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House to get a taste of science and technology careers.
The young citizens, including children from 18 schools in the Primary Parliament and members of the Youth Cabinet youth leadership group have told Nottingham City Council they want a hands-on experience that will help to ignite their imaginations and wonder around the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
25 partners from the Nottingham City Science and Technology Advisory Council, including the Council’s principal partner Nottingham Trent University, were there to encourage them to follow a STEM field as a career.
Guests had the chance to see the fun and excitement that can be had in STEM subjects, taking part in different experiments and activities as organisations like Ignite!, GameCity and the Royal Society of Chemistry showed off their skills to young minds.
STEM industries are worth over £250 Billion a year to the UK economy. By 2020 the country will need over 800,000 qualified science and engineering professionals and it’s hoped young people from Nottingham can help to meet this demand.
The Council wants to inspire children and young people to gain the skills, experience and qualifications necessary to make them a strong workforce for the future and world leaders in their chosen fields. The event was also a chance for the Science and Technology Advisory Council to launch their STEMWORKS local action plan for citizen engagement in science and technology in Nottingham, a partnership plan that brings together STEM companies with education and government to help make the city a knowledge economy powerhouse, in line with the city’s Growth Plan.
It’s hoped that through STEMWORKS the city can develop a skilled workforce for the future to help grow the knowledge economy. In order to do that people of all ages, including young children, need to be inspired to choose STEM subjects as a career path.
Speaking at the event last night, Mike Goulette, the Chair of the Nottingham City Science and Technology Advisory Council said: “Creating a local workforce to meet the demands of our growing digital, clean energy and bioscience sectors is a priority for the STAC. We can only achieve this goal if we can inspire more young people to take a journey into a STEM career.
We will build a culture of science in families so more children get an early start in STEM and we will improve the quality of STEM teaching both in and out of the classroom.”
Councillor Nick MacDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Skills at Nottingham City Council said: “To be a prosperous knowledge economy with opportunities for all we have to equip the next generation with the skills, experiences and qualifications to do the job.
STEMWORKS is a growth plan that shows us by working together we can grow community engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM backbone subjects; we can grow industry links to the classroom and open up new possibilities for students; and how we can grow a workforce that can inspire children, young people and their families to think STEM first.”