A new report has found that perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths-based subjects are rapidly improving, in news that will delight the UK government, who have long identified a skills gap in the sector.
Combined efforts by teachers, industry, engineering organisations and the Government to change the perception of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), are starting to bear fruit as 51% of parents surveyed by YouGov said they would encourage their child to pursue a STEM-based career.
Furthermore, 55% of parents said they actively try to encourage their child to study STEM subjects at school and nearly two-thirds said they felt that their child has more opportunities to learn STEM subjects now compared to when they were at school.
The YouGov research, commissioned by BAE Systems, surveyed almost 600 parents with children aged between eight and 15. It also found that only 2 in 5 of those surveyed believed that there were enough resources available for parents to help their children with their STEM homework, with just 4% saying there were too many resources!
The results of the research were released as BAE Systems, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy joined forces again to launch their nationwide schools engineering and science roadshow at St. Marylebone Church of England School, London; to an excitable audience of year seven pupils.
Now in its twelfth year, the flagship education programme is the largest of its kind, and is set to reach 420 schools and 90,000 students this year. The roadshow aims to help tackle the UK’s shortage of scientists and engineers through an exciting theatre show and workshop.
This year’s roadshow focuses on computing and engineering; demonstrating how robotics and computer coding are used in the real world by aircraft and naval engineers to design and build aircraft and ships. The activities are chosen to assist teachers in tackling the most difficult parts of the national curriculum for science, maths and IT.
Steve Fogg, Managing Director, Shared Services at BAE Systems said: “The results of this survey are very encouraging and show that we are starting to make some progress in changing perceptions about engineering. I am convinced that industry, education and Government must continue to work together in encouraging more young people to consider a career in STEM. There is still a huge amount to do and no one organisation has the ability to make a lasting impact – it must be a joint effort throughout the UK.”
Commenting on the roadshow Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray, RAF Senior Engineer, added: “The Royal Air Force understands the importance of engaging early with students in order to inspire and enthuse them to focus on maths and science. It is particularly important to encourage girls to take up these subjects and consider non-traditional, technical career pathways.”
Commodore Andy M Cree, Royal Navy, said: “The Royal Navy is proud to support this Roadshow as it is about inspiring the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. It enables us to highlight the variety of exciting roles and opportunities available, not just within the Royal Navy, but across the whole engineering and scientific community, which in turn, is building a better future for the United Kingdom.”
At the launch, YouTuber and Television Presenter Maddie Moate, known for her science, technology and education films, entertained the audience by participating in a science demonstration which showed the young students at St. Marylebone Church of England School how computing and engineering play a part in everyday life.