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STEM event aims to inspire Glasgow school children

Glasgow Clyde College SmartSTEMs event Automotive workshop

More than 200 children have been learning about the benefits of a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at Glasgow Clyde College.

Glasgow Clyde College's Anniesland campus hosted the SmartSTEMs event which was supported by headline sponsor EDF Energy.

The pupils aged between 10 and 14, from schools across the area, heard from Suzanne Lee who works in Digital Innovation and Strategy at Lloyds Bank. Suzanne, who is also the Founder of Pivotal Reality, an initiative which is researching the effects of using virtual reality with dementia, spoke about her career in STEM. They also took part in a series of hands-on workshops including ones on robotics, genomics and water purification in space.

Research shows that over half a million job openings in science, research, engineering and technology will need to be filled over the next six years, to replace retiring workers but in engineering, for example, there is an estimated shortfall of people with the right skills of up to 60,000 a year.

SmartSTEMs events target children aged 10 to 14 and aim to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to study STEM subjects at school.

The event was one of 12 SmartSTEMs will deliver in partnership with EDF Energy before the end of the year, reaching up to 5,000 pupils.

EDF Energy's Scottish Business Director, Paul Winkle, said: "EDF Energy hopes that by capturing their imaginations at events like this one more children will be inspired to study STEM subjects at school.

"Jobs in science, technology, engineering and maths are expe,cted to grow at double the rate of other occupations but its projected that there won't be enough graduates and apprentices to fill the roles. We are delighted to be working with SmartSTEMs and Glasgow Clyde College to try and change that."

Jon Vincent, the Principal of Glasgow Clyde College said: "Glasgow Clyde College believes that a focus on STEM education for all sits at the heart of the development of our young and emerging workforce. We are delighted to welcome so many young pupils to the College today and hope that this SmartSTEMs event will inspire them to experience first-hand the range of exciting career options that exist."

Stuart Macdonald, of SmartSTEMs said: "We are delighted to pull together many wonderful industry partners and scores of generous volunteers to deliver this great event for these young boys and girls. Proud to be playing our part in making Scotland a great place to discover and pursue STEM careers."

Those at the SmartSTEMs session were also able to experience a virtual reality film that immersed them in the worlds of three successful women working in STEM-related industries. EDF Energy's Virtual Reality film can be viewed at
edfenergy.com/prettycurious