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Young STEM Leaders Programme Gets £500,000 in Funding

Dominique Adams


primary school teacher

The Scottish Government has announced £500,000 in funding for a new programme that will support young people in becoming STEM mentors to inspire the next generation. 

Run by the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) in partnership with the science centres, the new Young STEM Leaders Programme will help young role models develop their mentoring skills and STEM knowledge.

The aim of the programme is to enable young mentors to flourish and inspire the next generation of STEM students. Funding for the young STEM Leaders Programme, which was announced by Science Minister Richard Lochhead at the Scottish Learning Festival, is a key component of the Government’s commitment to the Scottish STEM Strategy.

During their training, young mentors will have access to STEM experts for guidance and support and receive training. The programme will also create accreditation routes for the young people involved to recognise their development.

The development of the programme will begin next month, with an initial consultation and piloting phase before opportunities become available for young people to get involved later this academic year.

Programme to Challenge Entrenched Perceptions and Attitudes to STEM

Lochhead said: “Inspiring young people to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers is vitally important if we are to bring about changes in attitudes, culture and perceptions of STEM.

“Young people themselves are the best STEM role models, so strengthening mentoring in STEM by children and young people makes sense. Our ambition is that, by 2022, schools across the country will be participating in this programme.”

Alastair MacGregor, CEO of SSERC, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Science Centres, Science Festivals and youth and community groups to develop and deliver training to young people that will allow them to carry the role of a Young STEM leader.

“Equity of access to the programme by all school-aged learners, in both education and community settings, will be a key consideration for the partnership with the specific aim of inspiring more young people to develop an interest in STEM and purse the study of STEM subjects and thereafter relevant future careers.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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