17th October 2023

Igniting the Engineering Aspirations of Secondary School Students

The Smallpeice Trust runs pioneering engineering experience courses (the Ignition programme), named so, as it’s designed to ignite the engineering aspirations of secondary school students in Years 8 and 9 in England and Wales, S2 and S3 in Scotland, and Years 9 and 10 in Northern Ireland. This isn't just another educational initiative; it's a catalyst for change, setting the stage for the engineers of tomorrow. From cyber security, to electrical, and space engineering, the programme offers a wide array of opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom learning. This year, the programme delivered 10 engineering experience courses, 6 face-to-face and 4 virtual.

This programme of secondary school engineering courses is committed to inclusivity. In 2023, we welcomed 511 students of which 42% were female and non-binary participants, accounting for nearly half of total attendees. Additionally, 36% of participants were from ethnic minority backgrounds, with this figure rising to just over 50% of participants when including White Irish and 'Other White' students. This isn't just a course; it's a community where students from all walks of life can thrive.

The impact of The Smallpeice Trust’s engineering experience courses is transformative. A staggering 89% of students reported an increased general interest in engineering, marking a year-on-year increase of around 3.5%. Moreover, 91% of participants gained a heightened awareness of the various pathways into engineering, showcasing our programme's effectiveness in enlightening students about the myriad opportunities in the sector.

The feedback from our participants is overwhelmingly positive. An impressive 92% stated they would consider attending another Smallpeice Trust engineering course, and an even more encouraging 95% said they would recommend our courses to a friend. While 88% 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 our engineering experience courses.

None of this would be possible without the steadfast support of our partners. Your involvement isn't just a donation; it's an investment in the future. To our existing partners, we extend our deepest gratitude. 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 spark the engineering dreams of tomorrow? Your partnership could be the catalyst that transforms not just a programme, but an entire generation. Together, we can ignite young minds and unlock a world of possibilities.


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