Inspiring young minds

Scottish scientists and engineers are renowned the world over and some of their inventions and discoveries have helped to shape the way we live today.  Now, thanks to Young Start, a new generation of young minds will be engaged and inspired as Edinburgh International Science Festival stages a special careers fair at the National Museum of Scotland later this month. Joan Davidson, Education Manager at Edinburgh International Science Festival tells us why the event is so important.

“At its core, Careers Hive hopes to inspire the 3,000 young people attending to consider keeping Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in their course choices to leave the door open to them, eventually playing a part in the burgeoning and exciting science, tech and innovation sectors.

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“Careers Hive aims to re-invent the experience young people have around careers advice in their secondary years to make it more engaging, motivational and relevant to them at the crucial moment they select their subjects. Staged at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and in partnership with industry, Scottish pupils will undertake a free three hour interactive and immersive tour reminiscent of a festival visit – fun, engaging, with a core of learning.

“Pupils will go on an interactive and immersive tour and will take part in a new exhibition about the challenges the world faces that young people may feel motivated to contribute towards solving, workshops that explore what each pupil likes and has a talent for and a series of presentations from well-known people including BBC Click presenter Kate Russell, doctor and adventurer Gavin Francis, BBC broadcaster Jules Howard, and CEO of Astrosat, Steve Lee.

“Our Young Start grant will train young people and employees from different companies including EDF Energy, GSK, SEPA, Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems, Siemens and Syngenta to become mentors for the young learners during Careers Hive and into the future. Through our science communication course we aim to develop the confidence of the mentors to engage with the visiting students and general public by sharing their own STEM stories as well as giving up to the very minute accurate information about what it is that they actually do in their workday.

“This new initiative marks the start of a major strand of work for Edinburgh International Science Festival to support secondary pupils across Scotland as they map out what they want to do with their lives, fostering aspiration and giving young people the experience and access to role models that can help them achieve their ambitions. We are moving in to this area against a background of a major and worsening shortage of people electing to enter STEM careers despite the growing number of excellent opportunities open to them.”

Young Start creates opportunities for children and young people to help them be all they can be.  Find out more about the latest projects receiving funding here.

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