Shrewsbury School

STEM Potential – One Year In!

Thursday 17 June 2021

Saturday 12th June marked the final session of the inaugural academic year for Shrewsbury School STEM Potential, with sessions on scientific research into mosquito-borne diseases and the technology and biochemistry behind vaccines discussed.

Working with state schools across Shropshire, the aims of the programme include widening access to top universities in the STEM subjects and raising aspiration amongst talented young people to pursue qualifications and careers in technical fields, through a bespoke programme of science and maths masterclasses and workshops.

Working with Oundle School and Imperial College London to inspire a new generation of scientists and mathematicians, this year has seen the first Year 10 cohort complete a course in remote. STEM Potential sessions have and will continue to extend the opportunities these students may experience during their formative GCSE years, as well as offering advice in areas such as careers and university applications thereafter.

Building upon the excellent teaching at their respective schools, STEM Potential facilitates students from different areas and backgrounds meeting and working together and enables them to access additional coordinated support from experts in a wide range of fields at Shrewsbury School, Oundle and Imperial. The range of the offering in remote this year has been remarkably broad, with teachers from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Maths all contributing either GCSE, extension or research-based content for students to engage with on Saturdays throughout the year.

With ‘covid gains’ in mind, working in remote has also enabled the Shrewsbury cohort to join Imperial-led sessions, including a home-made theremin tutorial, with practical physics and chemistry material posted to individuals’ houses beforehand. There have also been evening tutoring sessions online with the Imperial College London STEM ambassadors – invaluable opportunities to have questions answered, not just about GCSEs but also about university life and course, with current 2nd and 3rd Year undergraduates at Imperial.

While September should see the in-person programme resume, this remote-working and close-knit collaboration between the three centres is set to continue in order to keep raising the bar within the programme. Applications are already being received for joining STEM Potential in Year 10 next year (deadline 28th June), while our current group will continue in Year 11. Eligible students attend state schools in the local region and in particular this programme has facilitated deepening partnership with the Marches Academy Trust, while new schools are also coming on board next year.

You can find out more about applying here: 
https://www.shrewsbury.org.uk/stempotential

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