Throughout the past few months, we have been working closely with our stakeholders to offer new ways of engaging and learning. By adapting our existing programmes, as well as creating new virtual experiences for young people, we continue to work towards fulfilling our vision of providing access and opportunities for all young people.
We have developed a variety of free online resources which is accessible to all young people through our website as a safe alternative to traditional face-face delivery. Young people can also take part in our #STEAMStars competition, through which students complete a range of online STEM challenges for the chance to win an EDT Experience Day for their school. We’ve been delighted to see such positive feedback and engagement so far!
Virtual STE(A)M courses
We transformed our delivery from face-to-face to virtual over the spring and summer terms; creating exposure and interaction for young people to find out more about STE(A)M, university, industry and routes to careers into STEM. EDT’s content is curriculum-aligned, supporting academic recovery with an emphasis on core maths and English skills, but the content is also focused on developing important employability skills like resilience & teamwork.
Improving accessibility for young people
Through our courses, we provide better accessibility for young people, schools and employers, using Virtual EDT to remove geographical barriers to participation. With this, we aim to spread our engagement with young people across the UK and also enable us to involve a more diverse range of employer mentors in our activities, ensuring that young people of all backgrounds can "see themselves" in STEM through EDT.
We offer multiple methods of engagement (face to face/virtual and modular/standalone activities), reflecting young people's diverse learning styles and needs, particularly when transitioning back into full-time education.
Working with our partners to deliver quality experiences
We have been working closely with partners to utilise online portals and learning management systems to deliver and accredit experiences through Industrial Cadets. Industrial Cadets is a key component to EDT’s portfolio; creating pathways to unlock potential and promote achievement. Industrial Cadets is a widely recognised skills-based quality framework accreditation, enabling young people to gain industry-led recognition awards. We introduced new ideas and concepts including weekly interactive meet the mentor sessions which presented new and diverse role models to students, reaching over 750 young people across the UK.
Theme/sector focused virtual work experiences
Our strong network of STEM employers across the UK - cultivated over 36 years, connects us with the shifting employment landscape as new technologies develop and the economy fluctuates. Our curriculum-aligned content is based around "themes" which reflect areas of economic growth, but also the concerns and interests of young people. Current themes include environmental sustainability, emerging digital technologies, and the impact of STEM developments on health & wellbeing.
We have also worked with a group of partners to develop, deliver and accredit ‘Learning in Lockdown’ - a week long virtual work experience for the construction industry, creating social value for industry partners and an invaluable experience of the construction sector for hundreds of young people.
The Industrial Cadets Framework
We have ensured that our online virtual experiences meet the Industrial Cadets framework at the appropriate level to enable us to celebrate students’ achievements and demonstrate skills they have developed. Delivering on Gatsby Benchmarks (England) and Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks (Scotland), Industrial Cadets ensures quality STE(A)M experiences, providing unique insight into industry and careers, preparing young people for their future. We are delighted that thousands of young people, not bound by geography, have been able to take part in online courses earning themselves an Industrial Cadets award as a result.
We are working towards a vision of a society where young people have equal access to engage with STE(A)M subjects and achieve their potential. We believe that by continuing to work together we can build our offerings. We must address the widening attainment gap for young people, we are listening to the needs of education and matching that with the needs of industry to ensure we serve young people well in these difficult times.
We would like to say thank you to all our supporters – for the collaboration, support, willingness to adapt and change with us.
Watch this space as we update our website, profile our partners, supporters and stakeholders, and celebrate the achievements of the young people taking part: our STEAMstars.