Siemens integrated programme aims to inspire the next generation of engineers. The Curiosity Project is playing a role in nurturing the five million new STEM graduates the UK will need in coming years.
Good for society
- The project provides career inspiration and aspirations for young people (7-19 years) who show an interest in STEM subjects.
- The Curiosity Project is supporting parents, teachers and careers advisors in understanding engineering careers and education.
Good for business
- The project has encouraged Siemens employees to get involved and advocate the project within their communities, increasing pride in the company.
- Siemens has built stronger and deeper ties with partners and external stakeholders.
The Curiosity Project, launched by global engineering and technlogy services company Siemens in 2014, is a rolling three-year programme designed to bring science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to life for young people.
The project builds on and broadens an initial four-year programme of STEM outreach in schools.
Top Tips from Siemens:
Have a clear rationale, backed up by independent statistics and research. The Curiosity Project’s foundations are based on the UK’s chronic need for engineers.
Engage with all your stakeholders. Employees, for example, are your best and strongest ally if you can get them on board.
Evaluation at every step of the way is key. There is no point doing anything without an action plan for measurement and evaluation.
Not enough youngsters are choosing STEM study pathways leading to engineering to fill available and predicted roles, and Siemens recognises disengagement in STEM needs to be addressed. It is estimated the country will have vacancies for 1.86 million people with engineering skills from 2010-2020.
The UK needs to double the numbers of engineering related apprentices and graduates coming out of colleges and universities.
There are several challenges that need to be overcome to fill the gap, including addressing the lack of teachers in these areas.
By supporting organisations showcasing technology, and providing an extensive set of free, stimulating and unique STEM education resources, Siemens hopes to influence and inspire five million children to continue their STEM education and consider engineering careers.
The Curiosity Project hopes to: encourage youngsters to take up of mathematics and physics GCSEs; to improve teaching and careers information; close the gender divide in STEM subjects; and improve access to careers and education resources in less advantaged areas.
Why they did it
The Curiosity Project uniquely harnesses knowledge, skills and resources of teachers, specialist STEM partners and employees to develop a programme which continually students from primary to 19 years. It is a coordinated series of programmes, materials and events that ensure they can access STEM consistently throughout their school careers.
Its aim is to ensure that students do not exclude themselves from STEM education or careers due to lack of information or opportunities. It also provides more transparency to schools, parents and Siemens and opinion formers of the true long term value of STEM education and careers.
This ambitious project goes well beyond Siemens’ role as an engineering company. Siemens has worked with Educational Awarding Bodies and Teachers to develop qualifications and teacher training to improve STEM teaching in schools. The project hopes to put STEM at the top of the UK education and skills agenda. An increase in the number of STEM trained workers is good for everyone in the industry.
One particularly innovative part of the project was a STEM Value Calculator which caculates the value in cash of STEM benefits like wellbeing and environmental protection, so that a comparative value can be worked out. This leads to more insight when decisions are made on various projects based on wider socio-economic impacts.
Engineering represents 11% of the UK economy and 8% of the jobs.
Working with the Cabinet Office, Department of Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Siemens will be supporting free resources for STEM teaching. The aim will be to raise awareness amongst children.
Official projections show that Britain needs to double the numbers of engineering apprentices and graduates, double the number of students studying GCSE physics as part of triple sciences, and grow numbers studying physics A level to match those of maths. Also there needs to be particular focus on increasing take-up and progression by girls, who only make up 20% of those taking A-level physics – a percentage that hasn’t improved in over 30 years.
What Siemens' CEO said:
“I’m extremely proud that Siemens is engaging young students, teachers and parents all across the UK both in and out the classroom, unlocking the exciting potential of a career in engineering. We want to inspire a generation to be comfortable with science and breakdown stereotypes of people working in science, allowing us to highlight inspiring mentors, exciting careers and fascinating research and technology.
I am confident that Siemens and our partners in this area can make a significant difference.” - Juergen Maier, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens