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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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Empowering young people to tackle green challenges using STEM

EDUCATION charity, Engineering Development Trust (EDT) has been awarded a £50,000 grant from the Cadent Foundation to educate young people on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in solving environmental challenges and empower them to use their skills to develop solutions.

Over the next two years, the funding will be used to deliver Industrial Cadets Bronze projects with Year 8 and 9 pupils in schools across the North West, West Midlands, North London and Eastern region; predominantly in areas with above-average levels of deprivation and youth unemployment. With support from a mentor, the pupils will use fun and educational activities to develop environmental solutions to key issues such as waste management and recycling, energy use and designing buildings for climate change. The programme will showcase the career pathways available, including apprenticeships and graduate opportunities, and employees from Cadent Gas will also support as STEM role models to bring to life careers in the energy sector.

The projects will enable students to develop key life and employability skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, project management, innovation, ICT and numeracy skills. At the end, each student will gain an Industrial Cadets Bronze Award.  Industrial Cadets is a national young persons’ recognition and employability award, supported by its patron, HRH, The Prince of Wales.

Geoff Jellis, Fundraising Manager at Engineering Development Trust, said:

“We’re extremely grateful to the Cadent Foundation for the funding which is helping us to expand our Industrial Cadets Bronze programme and work with a wider and more diverse group of students.

“In a year when young people have faced multiple activity cancellations, the opportunity to work on an environmental project supported by mentoring from STEM professionals is proving to be a much needed and positive experience for young people.”

Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, explains why it is important to invest in STEM education:

“With the growth of the green economy, there is an urgent need to educate, inspire and equip young people with the environmental and STEM skill-sets needed to build the strong and sustainable communities of the future.

“We are delighted to be able to support Engineering Development Trust to expand its fantastic programmes across our networks. These projects will help young people gain valuable insights into STEM careers and ensure they are better equipped to access opportunities to become the next generation of STEM professionals.”

One of the first schools to take part in the programme is Conisborough College in London.  Science Teacher, Eric Griffin, commented:

“As a school and particularly as a science department, we are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the bronze award collaboration. Such projects demonstrate how STEM subjects can be promoted within a school with the help and support of industrial partners.

“The pupils in my teams were particularly excited about having a real project to work on (as were their parents) and found the development of current skills and the discovery of new ones very rewarding, though challenging. After the assessment of their work, the glow that comes from achievements was very evident among them, and, I too, had a sense of pride in the students.”

For more information about Engineering Development Trust (EDT) and the range of programmes it offers, please visit: www.etrust.org.uk.

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