Ford of Britain Launches STEM Initiative Benefiting Essex Students
Ford of Britain announced this month that it is teaming with Primary Engineer to create a STEM initiative that ultimately benefits students from 20 schools in Essex. Through Primary Engineer, Ford invited 40 teachers from the schools to pay a visit to its Dunton Technical Center for a practical course resulting in their students being able to complete an engineering project.
The project completed by the teachers is the same that they will implement in their classrooms: younger children will be tasked with building a model car, while older students will put together an electric-powered vehicle. The teachers’ participation in the project ensures their comprehensive understanding of the process, allowing them to better assist their students in the project.
Upon completion at the end of the coming school year, all schools will convene at Dunton Technical Center to show off their finished projects. Winners will be chosen in the categories of best designed, best built, and best tested. Ford’s stake in the project is ensuring a bright future for engineering and other automotive-related fields by stimulating interest in STEM education.
“There is a recognized shortage of engineers across Europe. EngineeringUK have recently stated that the country needs 1.8 million new engineers and technicians by 2025,” said Linda Carpenter, director, Product Planning and Strategy, based at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre. “Children form ideas about ‘suitable’ careers from a very young age, and so we need to work with schools to ensure that children of a primary age are given the opportunity to learn more about STEM—and are encouraged to consider a future in the area.”
“Research shows that one off STEM events have little impact on pupils,” said Chris Rochester, Regional Director, Primary Engineer. “This is why the Primary Engineer programme aims to link schools with the engineering world, by training teachers and holding a succession of fun and engaging classroom projects that will both develop skills and motivate Primary school children in the area of STEM. I am very excited to see the range of vehicles that the children will create.”