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Siemens works with academy group to address STEM shortages

Siemens works with academy group, Bohunt Education Trust, to address STEM skill shortages.

Siemens is playing an important role in supporting an academy trust to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills. Together, Bohunt Education Trust (BET) and Siemens have helped to provide students with the skills to succeed in the workplace and encourage more young women to take an interest in engineering.

Hampshire-based BET runs Bohunt School, a successful state school and the current Times Education Supplement’s Secondary School of the Year. 

BET is bringing specific STEM lessons, designed in conjunction with long-term industry partner Siemens, into the curriculum so that all students take part. The STEM curriculum is based around a series of challenges that develop not only knowledge, but also key skills and habits of mind. The challenges mirror real-world issues the company faces or focuses on areas of knowledge that Siemens feel is missing from the curriculum.

The partnership provides Siemens’ engineers with the opportunity to develop their communication skills. For example, Audrey Bowie, a Project Manager with the company, who started as a graduate has presented to students at Bohunt School, Liphook, and led STEM workshops. As part of Siemens’ Women’s Network, she is particularly keen on encouraging more female students at Bohunt School to pursue an interest in engineering. She said:

“Having more females in the industry will bring new dynamics and skills to existing engineering companies as well as helping to satisfy the demands of our UK engineering industries.

“If I can inspire one student to learn more about the world around them, or better still, encourage them onto a career path where they are designing and building the future, I’m happy.”

Other Siemens graduates have helped to develop schemes of work using input from Siemens Education website: www.siemens.co.uk/education and accompanied students to the Crystal to help finalise their ideas.

Siemens and BET’s aims to produce more female engineers are closely aligned. The annual Bohunt motivational speaker series is aimed at encouraging girls to study STEM subjects and has featured a number of leading female figures from the world of STEM, while graduates from Siemens have run girls only STEM workshops.

In November 2014, Laura Wilson, BET’s Head of STEM, attended a roundtable hosted by The Daily Telegraph on Women in STEM. One barrier, which BET and Siemens are trying to address is people’s perception of engineering. Laura explains:

“When we ask students to draw an engineer they depict a man and a mechanic.”

BET has been tackling this issue over the last couple of years by hosting two free-to-attend STEM festivals, which Siemens have exhibited at. The events attracted over 6,000 people and targeted both students and their families. Exit surveys from the festivals have shown that the percentage of parents that would recommend a STEM career to their children doubled to nearly 90% by the end of the Festival.

Neil Strowger, CEO of Bohunt Education Trust, said:

“Education for us is far more than simply outstanding examination results. Our STEM curriculum and partnership with Siemens shows our commitment to giving students the skills, attitudes and ambition to stand-out and succeed long after they have left us.”

Juergen Maier, Chief Executive, Siemens plc said:

“I’m extremely proud that Siemens is engaging young students, teachers and parents all across the UK both in and out the classroom, unlocking the exciting potential of a career in engineering. I am confident that Siemens and our partners in this area can make a significant difference”

 

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