EMDA leads the way on STEM promotion11 September 2009 The future prosperity of the East Midlands and its ability to compete on the global stage relies heavily on a strong supply of talented individuals going into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.
The UK produces just 25,000 STEM graduates each year, compared to over 2 million in China and India, a fact that prompted East Midlands Development Agency to invest £9 million over four years in a series of projects promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
An integral part of EMDA's investment programme has been the East Midlands STEM Partnership - the voice for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the region.
Bringing together all those involved in STEM - delivery organisations, businesses and educators at all levels - the Partnership supports the challenge to get more young people interested in STEM subjects and into the industries that need them.
Cathy Brown, chair of the East Midlands STEM Partnership Steering Group and STEMNET Regional Director said:
'There are many excellent STEM-related projects taking place across the region and we knew that pan-regional co-ordination would bring enormous benefits. Initially, we needed to create the right communications mechanisms to bring STEM professionals together, both physically and virtually. Then we needed to research the burning issues facing educators and business and start addressing them."
Launched in October 2007, the STEM Partnership has succeeded in providing the mechanisms for the 'meeting of minds' referred to by Cathy Brown. The sharing of ideas, knowledge and best practice has been made possible through biannual forum events which have been attended by over 300 STEM Partners.
Forum events have been held in Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Loughborough. They have attracted national speakers such as Professor John Holman, National STEM Director and Director of National Science Learning Centre and Pat Morton, project manager for the Government's STEM Subject Choice and Careers project.
Through these forums, several hundred education and business practitioners have been granted an insight into national and regional STEM policy.
The next forum event will take place on Wednesday 18 November 2009 with keynote speakers Sir Alan Jones, chairman of Semta and Kate Bellingham, National STEM Careers Co-ordinator, who will be focusing on the theme of employer engagement.
For further information about the initiative, visit the East Midlands STEM Partnership website (opens a new window)
Source:East Midlands Development Agency|