Pupils discover real life work as engineers

STEM residential course at the National Grid Training centre.
STEM residential course at the National Grid Training centre.

A Bedford schoolboy joined other teenagers to become a ‘real life’ engineer during a special project.

Christopher Leahy from St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School donned overalls and hard hat to become an engineer as part of a three-day activity course organised by E.ON, aimed at promoting STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) among pupils.

He was one of 43 pupils aged 13-15 from across the county invited along to the residential course in Nottinghamshire, where they were able to gain valuable hands-on experience of life as a trainee engineer.

During the three days, the pupils were tasked with solving real life engineering problems, took part in a tour of E.ON’s Ratcliffe-On-Soar Power Station and met people working in the energy industry. The course is aimed at engaging the pupils in STEM subjects and inspiring the pupils to become the next generation of engineers, scientists and inventors.

New research from E.ON has revealed that, although STEM subjects are among pupils’ favourites at school, there’s still more that can be done to make these subjects more engaging to encourage pupils to continue studying them at GCSE stage and beyond.

Almost a third of pupils (31%) questioned in this region said they would enjoy maths more if there were more practical activities and just under one fifth (16%) would enjoy engineering more if they could understand how it fits in to everyday life.

Further research by E.ON amongst young people aged 16-18 shows the importance of keeping STEM subjects enjoyable in order to encourage pupils to choose these options at GCSE, A Level and university.

Pupils in this age group are most likely to progress their studies in subjects that they either enjoy (71%) or are best at (57%), rather than choosing subjects they think will support their future career paths (29%).

Fiona Stark, Director of Corporate Affairs at E.ON, said: “Our research shows that a good proportion of pupils are really engaged with Science, Maths and Technology which is hugely encouraging but we know there is more that can be done to bring these subjects to life for pupils and to get them really excited about the doors these subjects can open for their future careers.

“Our ‘E.ON Energy Experience’ educational programme offers online learning which anyone can access, as well as live drama sessions and hands-on workshops and activities such as this residential course, to help inspire pupils to study STEM subjects and think about careers in these areas.

“Through programmes like this, we believe that businesses can really help pupils develop the STEM skills they need to flourish in the classroom now and later on in their working lives too.”

To find out more about E.ON’s Energy Experience visit eonenergy.com/community