Wales education program seeks to increase awareness of STEM – Med-Tech Innovation


An education program in Wales helps young people become more interested in science, technology, technology and mathematics (STEM) subjects from grade seven.

STEM Gogledd is a project that aims to increase STEM awareness for 11-19 year olds living in Conwy, Anglesey and Gwynedd.

Launched two years ago, the project was gaining momentum before the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to take an online-only approach. Since then, STEM Gogledd has sought to connect industry and academia to help train the next generation of apprentices and employees.

Supported by funding from WEFO (Welsh European Funding Office) and the European Social Fund (ESF), Regional Director Dyfed Jones says their goal is to raise awareness and interest in STEM from an early age.

“A lot of young children don’t know what STEM is and, as they grow older, whether there will be a viable career for them,” Dyfed said.

“Thanks to this initiative, we can engage from the 7th year and continue this journey with them from school to higher education, an apprenticeship or the world of work.

“We do this through mentoring and our close partnerships with businesses in North Wales, organizing tours and inviting them to speak to students. During COVID, we had to do it virtually, but it made them more accessible and means more than one school can participate. “

STEM Gogledd now works with thousands of students and staff at 24 high schools across the three counties. The team plans to start hosting face-to-face sessions when safe and also plans to launch a new podcast.

STEM Gogledd is also keen to engage with more girls and young women to help them enter what is a traditionally male dominated field.

“The number of women in STEM careers is increasing, but it’s still only around 25%,” Dyfed said. “Education is essential and thus demonstrates – for both girls and boys – that there are options for them in STEM right here in North Wales.

‘We have a lot of amazing businesses in this area and there is a demand for skilled workers so we need to step up and take on this challenge because it is very much on the agenda in Wales and we are ahead – keeping an effort to fill these roles for this generation and future generations.

He added: “Our service was launched just six months before the coronavirus pandemic; like many organizations, we were hit for six hours and stopped dead for a little while.

“We were really making inroads and going into schools, so hopefully we can do it again now and bring business and industry into the classroom.

“The goal is to integrate the STEM even more into the curriculum and to work closely with teachers, parents and their communities to help young people find skilled jobs, jobs that will make a difference to the economy. from North Wales.

“We will continue to work hard to make this happen and engage with more companies, because as of this coming year, more than one in five jobs will be in STEM industries.”

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