Inspiring the next generation of bright sparks
Farnborough, UK – A new £30 million government education project to place modern science at the heart of classrooms across the UK is being launched with support from BAE Systems, the biggest employer of skilled engineers in the country. Today’s announcement is the latest initiative within the Company’s education programme to bring science alive in the classroom and stimulate interest in engineering.
‘Project Enthuse’ aims to reverse the trend of young people turning away from science. It responds to an urgent need for more specialist science teachers and to provide continuous professional development for science teachers. Under the new scheme, science teachers across the UK will have access to state-of-the-art training facilities at the National Science Learning Centre in York. This world-class project will help keep teachers up to date with the latest technological innovations and give access to ideas for encouraging children to engage with science, and pursue careers in science and technology.
BAE Systems, which is committed to ensuring the future of British engineering talent, is a founder partner of the National Science Learning Centre. It is taking a proactive approach to inspiring budding scientists, and is engaged with teachers and pupils to provide first-hand experience of the vital role that science plays at its world-class facilities across the country.
Richard Hamer, Education Partnership Director at BAE Systems, said: “The continuing decline in the number of science, engineering and technology graduates is a real threat to the future competitiveness of the UK’s industrial sector. As the largest employer of engineers in the UK, we are proud to play our part in helping science teachers to inspire young people to become the engineers of the future.”
John Holman, Director of the National Science Learning Centre, said: “Science is endlessly fascinating and opens new windows on the world. Science lessons should be full of amazing experiences and intriguing ideas to inspire a new generation of young scientists. At the National Science Learning Centre, we give science teachers a unique professional experience to boost their subject knowledge and teaching skills – and we do it in a superbly equipped training environment which other professionals take for granted but teachers rarely experience.”
Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, said: “Project Enthuse is a remarkable partnership between the private sector, the Government and the Wellcome Trust with the single and united purpose of upgrading the content of science teaching in our primary and secondary schools. By uniting in this way, we can bring practical science and technology into the classroom at a scale and breadth of investment which has never been achieved before. We believe this new investment will succeed, and we will be able to measure our success and demonstrate its positive impact on science education.”
Project Enthuse will receive £10 million from the Government over the next five years, as well as £10 million from the Wellcome Trust and a further £10 million from its industrial partners, which include BAE Systems, BP, Vodafone, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline, General Electric, AstraZeneca and the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust.
Every maintained school in the UK can apply for funding, which provides generous bursaries to cover not only fees, travel and accommodation for individual teachers but also the cost to schools of providing teaching cover, and extra funds to help teachers share what they learn with colleagues.
In the UK, BAE Systems invests approximately £40 million annually in education and skills development programmes. Activities include apprentice training, research partnerships with universities and engineering roadshows for schools.
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