Stem fair is a great way of enthusing young people

Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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It’s vitally important that we get young people enthused about the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths while they are still at school.

They are the workforce of the future and our economy requires people with Stem skills so that it can become stronger.

Without them, this country’s capacity for growth is severely limited.

That’s because companies won’t be able to find the required number of employees with the right qualifications to meet demand.

But the problem is that not enough young people are studying Stem subjects beyond their GSCEs, suggesting they are not sufficiently inspired to make such choices.

That needs to be addressed and one excellent way of engaging the younger generation with Stem is a three-day fair that is seeing hundreds of young people aged between nine and 16 from across the Portsmouth area take part in a range of activities at Fareham College and St Vincent College in Gosport.

We strongly believe this is the right approach, giving pupils valuable hands-on experience and encouraging them to see themselves making a career one day in the diverse Stem fields.

Allowing them to meet up with local companies and find out what those companies do is invaluable.

Hopefully, meeting Kim Rowe, a microbiological scientist from Portsmouth Water, will have got them thinking about working there one day as well as discovering where water comes from and how it gets purified.

It’s also important to make Stem fun and organisers of the fair deserve great credit for getting the message across in an accessible and enjoyable way.

As 11-year-old Jamie Garrett from Emsworth Primary School said: ‘Science is really exciting and you can see all the experiments.’

Let’s just hope that Jamie and his fellow pupils retain that sense of enthusiasm when they get past the compulsory education stage and start making subject choices that can determine their career paths.