Renishaw hosted 12 students from the Future Brunels educational programme at its Gloucestershire headquarters as part of a pioneering scheme developed by the SS Great Britain Trust and supported by Renishaw. During their visit, the students took part in an engaging hands-on activity to encourage creative thinking and the development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.
The 5-year rolling programme encourages motivated students, with an interest in STEM subjects, to pursue a career in a related field by inspiring and enthusing them during their secondary school education. Each year, the programme selects a group of 12 students from Bristol schools to attend six extracurricular sessions each academic year. During these sessions, the students visit either the Brunel Institute, or science or engineering sites, such as Renishaw, and engage in STEM activities. The experiences of the first two sets of Future Brunel graduates to complete the programme have been evaluated by the University of Bristol.
Renishaw is a corporate academy supporter, and hosts an annual workshop for the students in the fourth year of the programme, which is themed ‘The Engineer’. The hands-on workshop challenges the students to produce an LED light sequencer, which they are then able to take home. During the activity, the students were trained to use engineering equipment, including soldering and laser cutters.
Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw explains: “Renishaw is committed to encouraging a pipeline of talent into engineering careers. Taking part in hands-on activities is a powerful way to create a positive experience for the students involved.
“Because the students can take their projects home, the learning extends beyond just the visit itself and can be shared with parents, teachers and peers. We’ve had great feedback from the students so far, who were able to develop their skills in a number of areas including physics, mechanics and engineering.”
Rachel Roberts, Head of Education, SS Great Britain Trust notes: “The results of the evaluation of the Future Brunels pilot programme have been outstanding. Due to the exceptional results, the SS Great Britain Trust is now looking to expand the programme to more young people and increase their enthusiasm for STEM subjects as a part of tackling the skills shortage.”
Renishaw supports a range of educational outreach programmes to encourage young people to consider STEM careers. This involves work with Young Engineers, Colston Hall, Greenpower and Bristol Music Trust. As well as apprenticeships, graduate schemes and industrial/summer placements, Renishaw offers work experience weeks to students in years 10–12 and the scheme has been awarded full recognition by the Skills for Stroud Work Experience and Employability Charter.
For more information on Renishaw’s commitment to education outreach, visit www.renishaw.com/en/education-outreach--34713.