STEM Fund helps 300,000 pupils in four years
Schools can apply for a grant every year of the Hinkley Connection Project works
Since 2018 over 315,000 local children at 402 different schools in the south west have benefited from the Hinkley Connection Project Education Fund, where teachers are awarded grants to purchase much needed STEM equipment. This includes 65,000 children from disadvantaged backgrounds and 150,000 girls.
Every state school within the six local authorities impacted by the Hinkley Connection Project can apply for a £500 or £1250 grant for every year of the project.
With headteachers already under pressure due to the pandemic, in the past two years schools that have applied previously have been awarded a grant automatically, without the need for a fresh application.
A recent survey of recipients show that the fund is hugely valued by teachers, with all respondents agreeing that the equipment they were able to buy increased their pupils’ interest and enjoyment of STEM. The fact that, unlike other initiatives, teachers themselves can decide what best to spend the money on, is appreciated.
“We are a very small school and would never normally be able to spend £500 on STEM equipment. This fund has given our children opportunities to foster a life-long love of the sciences and promotes a career in science,” said one local headteacher.
We want to use the Hinkley Connection to inspire future generations
The Education Fund is a flagship initiative of the Hinkley Connection’s Engineering Positive Futures programme, along with the project’s Adult Skills programme. “Our ambition is to use the Hinkley Connection to inspire future generations and leave a lasting legacy for the communities we are working closest to,” says Project Director, James Goode.
Through the Adult Skills programme, the project has funded over £500,000 of training for local unemployed people. To date, 300 people have achieved a construction qualification to help them back into work. During the pandemic our training provider adapted the course to be delivered virtually and now we are back to face-to-face training held in a range of locations identified by local authorities. The next is being held in Minehead in January 2022.
Jonathan Richardson, CSR Officer for the Hinkley Connection Project says, “When we first started looking at what we could offer as a project, the key thing for us was listening to what the local authorities wanted for their communities. We looked at several options before focusing on the STEM fund and the Adult Skills programme. We’re immensely proud that they are both delivering direct and lasting benefits for local people.”