The number of pupils taking science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in British schools has been dropping over recent years, but the situation at Lydiard Park Academy in Grange Park shows the reverse.
After visits by the Enthuse team sponsored by Swindon based energy company nPower over the last five years, the number of pupils taking these subjects at GCSE level has rocketed from around ten each year to over fifty.
Enthuse staff run workshops to give Year 9 pupils across the country a taste of what STEM courses involve at GCSE, A level and beyond. Youngsters were given a range of practical tasks which tested their time management, information organisation, investigative abilities, problem solving and team work skills.
Alicia Stacey, 14, from Toothill said the session had opened her eyes. “I didn’t realise how much there is to different kinds of engineering; it’s used everywhere. I was surprised when the Enthuse man said that a Nintendo Wii was designed by engineers.”
Maths teacher and Enthuse coordinator Gill Sergeant confirmed the positive effect the programme has had over several years. “The difference the team has made has been amazing. We had a handful taking GCSE engineering about four years ago; now fifty are taking it. Last year we had 100 per cent passes at A* to C and we know quite a few pupils have gone on to study engineering.”