Our STEM Mentor Programme

Bringing together schools and businesses in STEM

Our STEM Mentor Programme is open to local science and technology businesses and all those working in STEM. The overarching aim of the programme is to inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators.

What we do
Science Oxford provides the framework for STEM mentors to work with young people in primary and secondary schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. We have regular meet-ups for STEM mentors and teachers to discuss the best ways of working together to engage children in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Our STEM Mentor Programme includes:

  • supporting the science curriculum in primary and secondary schools
  • helping with science clubs
  • being involved with career events
  • offering apprentice and research placements
  • running science experience weeks
  • offering a careers resource called STEM Horizons

Through this wide range of activities our STEM mentors help young people to feel more inspired and engaged with science in school. And they link young people with local STEM businesses, providing them with information, guidance and experience to show them the range of opportunities available and support them in making informed decisions about STEM careers.

How to get involved
We want to hear from individuals who work – or have worked – in STEM businesses who would like to get involved with our STEM Mentor Programme. We would also like local STEM businesses who can offer work or research placements to get in touch. If you would like to volunteer with us, please complete the volunteer application form and email to [email protected] Once we have your details, you’ll be invited to one of our regular meetups where you can meet other volunteers and teachers and hear about opportunities. We will also provide you with resources and training to allow you to contribute confidently to programmes running in your area.

To find out more about our schools programmes, click here to go to the schools section of the Science Oxford website. 

STEM Mentor Business Case Studies

Science Oxford provides the framework for businesses to work with young people in schools across our region.

BP

BP’s Educational Service wants to bridge the STEM skills gap. The company is committed to promoting science and technology in schools and partners with key organisations to deliver high quality educational programmes. Their Pangbourne office has a long-term project working at with Langtree School near Reading. We support Year 9 students that work with BP mentors on the Go4Set challenge – a national engineering competition – as well as Ex’straw’dinary Engineering, Creative Chromatography and the Oil Products Challenge. The BP programme also runs “work experience” weeks for students in years 10–12 and helps them with their CVs and the rigorous interview process. What’s more, BP and local investment company, Invesco Perpetual, assists the school with the Langtree Challenge that encourages students to develop leadership, independence, team-working, resilience, and communication skills.

GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare is a global healthcare company specialising in medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Staff in their Amersham office are particularly passionate about inspiring the next generation to take up science, engineering, technology and maths. In partnership with Science Oxford, volunteers visited local schools to deliver activities which foster creativity, imagination and enterprise. GE staff hosted work experience weeks for local students interested in STEM careers – some of which targeted girls interested in science. Activities included DNA electrophoresis, computer programming, risk analysis, assembling radioactive products and working with robots as well as touring and experimenting in manufacturing. Students say that these experience weeks really helped to build their confidence and opened their eyes to the range of STEM roles available.

Johnson & Johnson

The pharmaceutical firm, Johnson & Johnson has been working with Cressex Community School in High Wycombe for the past six years. Their objective is to raise pupils’ awareness of STEM job opportunities. They organise for sixty students from year 8 and their teachers to visit the Johnson & Johnson facility at High Wycombe where they are introduced to three disease areas the company is working on. This session is followed by workshops for the students on marketing, sales and forecasting. After the company visit, students take part in two competitions that are run along the lines of “The Apprentice- meets-“Dragon’s Den”: students use their presentation skills to talk about one of the disease areas they’ve learned about and then put forward a marketing plan for a fictional product for their chosen disease. This gives students an amazing insight into the pharmaceutical industry.

Laing O’Rourke

The giant construction company, Laing O’Rourke is involved in several construction projects in Oxford, including the building of the new Westgate shopping and leisure centre. The company is keen to promote career opportunities in engineering and related STEM subjects. They have trained staff to be STEM mentors and are running talks and speed networking events at career fairs in local schools. They run a young engineering programme at Matthew Arnold School and the company also hosts 20 local students as part of Science Oxford’s World of Work programme during the summer holidays. One of the company’s senior engineers will host a STEM apprentice placement. What a fantastic experience.

Lucy Electric

Last Autumn, Science Oxford helped Lucy Electric UK launch its STEM Young Engineers Project to 30 pupils from four Oxfordshire schools. The project aimed to engage young people in STEM by teaching them practical engineering skills through fun and challenging tasks. Science Oxford helped to recruit the schools and train the staff volunteers. Alongside a Lucy Electric mentor, students spent 12 weeks creating a working physical model of a ring network and program controllers to deal with power outage events. The teams competed against each other to create the best project and presentation.

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