Government invests £3m in STEM hubs to boost take-up

DataIQ News

As students across the country fret over this year's GCSE results due out later this month, the Government has announced yet another initiative designed to increase take-up of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects with the opening of a new £3m centre in Wales, alongside investment in six science centres across the UK, to help educate youngsters about future careers.

The Techniquest centre near Cardiff Bay, which was opened back in 1986 to provide visitors with a hands-on approach to science, will house the new STEM hub designed to reach a more diverse audience and deliver new content to teach people more about science and technology.

Meanwhile, six science centres across the UK – Catalyst in Widnes, the Dundee Science Centre, Eureka! on Merseyside, the Glasgow Science Centre and the National Space Centre in Leicester – will be given additional funding attract new visitors to teach them about STEM.

All locations have been chosen after presenting plans about how to connect with audiences and communities who may not visit centres of this kind or have access to STEM-based learning.

This audience development will be achieved through creating new activities and improving facilities. Techniquest’s plan for this includes developing its new content with businesses and education providers from Welsh fields to show how STEM and the future of technology will effect society.

Funding for these science centres is part of the Inspiring Science Fund, a joint venture from Wellcome and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which was developed with the aim of educating more people from underprivileged or under-represented backgrounds to learn more about science.

Secretary of state for Wales Alun Cairns said: “The centre is home to many fond memories of children and adults in South Wales and further afield, who were perhaps taking an interest in science and technology for the first time.

“This funding will allow Techniquest to leap forward in developing cutting-edge STEM technology, attracting some of Wales’ sharpest science minds to take a lead role in developing our future society.”