Bracknell schools and 3M become partners in science
29 January 2011
A new partnership has been cemented between the diversified technology company 3M, whose UK Head Office is based in Bracknell, Berkshire, and five local schools.
The aim is to help pupils and students to have a clearer vision of the careers that industry can offer them and encourage them to achieve these through studying the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.
“As a technology company, we need a strong talent pool of people with the right skills and qualifications for the future,” said John Klee of 3M. “And we are getting increasingly concerned about how few students are currently staying with STEM subjects into university and beyond.
“For example, India produces 16 STEM graduates per 10,000 head of population each year and China produces 15. Here in the UK, the number is just four.
“We want to do all that we can to increase those numbers in the UK and that’s why we have made the supporting of teaching STEM subjects in schools the key theme of our community programme.”
Ten teachers attended an after-school meeting to launch the new partnership at 3M’s Head Office and discuss future initiatives.
Among them was Gordon Cunningham, headteacher at Easthampstead Park School in Bracknell, who commented: “This is an excellent scheme for bringing industry and education closer together. It will give our students a broader vision of the real world and enliven their interest in the subjects they are learning at school.”
3M has already created two free online teaching resources around the STEM subjects. The first was 3Mstreetwise.co.uk, focusing on road safety for 7-11 year-old pupils, and this has been followed by the sustainable-living site for secondary schools 3Mworldlywise.co.uk.
The five schools in the partnership are Garth Hill College, Easthampstead Park School, The Pines School, Sandy Lane Primary School and Kennel Lane School.
During the coming year 3M is planning to collaborate with each of the schools on projects to enhance young people’s interest in STEM subjects.
John Klee added: “There are a number of ideas in the pipeline that we will be discussing more fully with the schools in the months to come.”
3M is a trademark of 3M Company.