6th November 2023

Catalyst of momentum for engineering aspirations of secondary school students

The Smallpeice Trust runs innovative engineering courses (the Momentum programme), named so, as they are designed to be the catalyst of momentum for the engineering aspirations of secondary school students - Year 10, 11 and 12 in England and Wales, S4, S5 and S6 in Scotland, and Years 11, 12 and 13 in Northern Ireland.

These engineering courses are not just another educational programme; it's a movement that's shaping the future of engineering in the UK. Tailored for students aged 15 to 18 year, These courses allow young minds to meet real-world engineering challenges, and can help to build the foundations for a student’s career in engineering or STEM-related further study. This year, we delivered 15 courses, 13 face-to-face and 2 virtual.

These courses offer schools a diverse range of hands-on engineering experiences, from virtual classrooms to residential courses at esteemed universities. Take our Human Habitat on Mars or Aerospace Engineering course for instance. Here, students blast into the fascinating exploration of rocket technology, shedding light on the intricate mechanisms behind space travel, all while getting a taste of university life. But that's just the beginning. Our courses span various engineering disciplines, ensuring that every young mind receives a comprehensive introduction to this multifaceted field.

What sets our courses apart is the commitment to inclusivity and diversity. In 2023 alone, we welcomed 687 participants, of which 54% were female and non-binary, accounting for over half of the total attendees. Additionally, 36% of all participants were from ethnic minority backgrounds, a figure that rises to 47% participants when including White Irish and 'Other White' students. This is not just a programme; it's a community where students from all walks of life can thrive.

The impact of our engineering courses programme is nothing short of transformative. An astounding 89% of students reported an increased general interest in engineering. Furthermore, 89% of participants gained a heightened awareness of the various pathways into engineering, showcasing the programme's effectiveness in enlightening students about the myriad opportunities in the sector.

The feedback from our participants speaks volumes. A staggering 96% stated they would consider attending another course, and an even more encouraging 97% said they would recommend our courses to a friend. While 91% reported they would consider studying engineering in the future. These numbers aren't just statistics; they're a testament to the life-changing impact of these courses.

None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of our partners. According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK is facing an annual shortfall of up to 59,000 engineering graduates. Your involvement isn't just a donation; it's an investment in the future. To our existing partners, we extend our appreciation. To potential partners, this is your opportunity to be part of a transformative educational experience that's setting the stage for the next generation of engineers.

So, are you ready to fuel the future of engineering education? Your partnership could be the catalyst that transforms not just a programme, but an entire generation. Together, we can build a future where every young mind can explore, innovate, and excel.



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