Northumbria University raises £300,000 for primary school STEM outreach

The university’s NUSTEM group has doubled its funding, and will now run workshops in 33 local primary schools

Thousands more primary school students in the north-east of England will benefit from Northumbria University’s STEM outreach programme after it received a £300,000 boost.

The university’s NUSTEM group aims to inspire local pupils to study STEM subjects at university, in particular female students and those from under-represented groups. The group works closely with schools and parents on careers-focused, curriculum-inspired workshops.

Dr Carol Davenport, director of NUSTEM, said: “What makes NUSTEM different is that we start working with children from a very young age, from three years old, and with their teachers and families. Our research shows that we need to work with children from an early age on a long-term basis as they start thinking about what they would like to do when they are older.”

Our research shows that we need to work with children from an early age on a long-term basis as they start thinking about what they would like to do when they are older.
– Dr Carol Davenport, NUSTEM

Battle Hill Primary School in Wallsend is one of the schools currently benefitting from the workshops delivered by NUSTEM.

The school’s science coordinator, Karen Straughan, said: “Working with NUSTEM over the last five years has been great for our school. We’re also working with them to support families and teachers through workshops and staff training.”

The £300,000 cash boost has come from engineering charity the Reece Foundation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and the university. The funding means the team can continue working with 15 partner schools and reach a further 18 for a three-year period.

Since its launch five years ago, almost 40,000 school children, teachers and family members have participated in NUSTEM-led activity sessions in schools and at community events.