Full ‘Steam’ ahead for STEM careers in Birmingham

A BIRMINGHAM education charity has been giving school children access to inspiring broadcasts from young entrepreneurs hailing from all over Europe.

The Titan Partnership has licensed Steam School, an award-winning virtual academy, to help pupils complete challenges and stream entrepreneurs’ talks, with teachers monitoring participation and progress remotely.

The charity credits the interactive platform with helping young people to see what a future career in STEM might look like.

“For pupils, Steam School brings subjects such as Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Art and Maths to life,” said Carolyn Chapman-Lees, who has been Chief Executive Officer at The Titan Partnership for four years.

“The platforms brings real, successful people into their classrooms through the power of technology. It allows them to see the types of jobs they can get into in a fun, exciting and accessible way, as well as the steps they need to take to pursue certain careers – giving them a destination beyond the qualification.

‘Also, because Steam School is non-prescriptive, there’s some flexibility for teachers to use it however they work. Having ready-made lesson plans to hand is undeniably attractive. You can also adapt what is done through the platform into hard-copy resources. This is important because so many children do not have devices, which is the inequality of opportunity at the heart of our campaign, Computers for Children.”

Steam School was founded in 2018 by Jade Parkinson-Hill to connect students aged nine to 14 with inspirational people from the world of Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Art and Maths.

Having previously hosted guest broadcasts from global brands such as Instagram, Pokémon Go, Google and Fortnite, demand for Jade’s online service has soared amongst educators during lockdown.

Jade said: “I am proud that we have been able to support The Titan Partnership in transforming the lives of young people – unlocking their potential and raising aspirations. Steam School has helped to lighten teacher workload and save many hours of planning time, as well as to give pupils a ‘glimpse into the future’ with our weekly broadcast.

‘To help futureproof teaching, I am already planning next year’s curriculum with new platform features and missions – including Mission to Mars, Robotics Rocks, Fashion Futures, Eco Warriors, Young EntrepreNERDs and Outbreak.

‘This will support school leaders to deliver a flexible curriculum with online alternatives, as championed in the Microsoft Reimagining Education Paper.”

To date, 1,582 Titan students have registered on the Steam School platform across 13 Birmingham schools. Over 30 live broadcasts have taken place and more than 100 Steam challenges.

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