Edinburgh pupils get smart about STEM

© Malcolm Cochrane Photography

More than seventy children have been learning about the benefits of a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at a college in Midlothian.

Edinburgh College’s Midlothian campus has hosted its first SmartSTEMs event, which was supported by headline sponsor EDF Energy.

There are projected skills gaps in STEM sectors with research showing that in engineering alone 124,000 new recruits will be needed each year until 2024 to meet job demand[1].

Charitable organisation SmartSTEMs targets children aged 10 to 14 and aim to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to study STEM subjects at school.

© Malcolm Cochrane Photography

The pupils heard from a former student at the Midlothian campus, Lewis Martin, who completed his engineering maintenance apprenticeship through EDF Energy before going to work full-time at Torness power station.

The pupils also had the chance to take part in workshops on a range of subjects including tower building with earthquake testing and to speak to a range of science, engineering and tech businesses about the jobs they could do in the future.

Robert Gunn, Torness power station’s director said: “EDF Energy hopes that by capturing their imaginations at events like this one more children will be inspired to study STEM subjects at school.

“Jobs in science, technology, engineering and maths are expected to grow at double the rate of other occupations but its projected that there won’t be enough graduates and apprentices to fill the roles. We are delighted to be working with SmartSTEMs and Edinburgh College to try and change that.”

Stuart Macdonald, founder of SmartSTEMs said: “We are delighted to pull together many wonderful industry partners and scores of generous volunteers to deliver this great event for these young boys and girls. Proud to be playing our part in making Scotland a great place to discover and pursue STEM careers.”

Lynsey Kemp, Electrical Engineering curriculum leader at Edinburgh College, said: “It was fantastic to host this SmartSTEMs event in partnership with EDF Energy at our Midlothian Campus. It is crucial to showcase the diverse nature of the career possibilities that come through studying STEM subjects at school, college, university or through work-based learning. As a college, we are committed to playing a key role in providing industry with the skilled workforce it needs now and in the future, through our wide range of courses and apprenticeships.”


© Malcolm Cochrane Photography

[1] https://www.engineeringuk.com/media/1576/7444_enguk18_synopsis_standalone_aw.pdf