PPMA BEST hosts STEM day to encourage next generation of engineers

PPMA BEST (Business Education, Skills and Training), an independent charitable trust set up to encourage young people to discover the opportunities for a career in the engineering industries, has partnered with the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester, to host an interactive STEM day on Monday November 13.

The STEM day, organised by PPMA BEST and national education charity The Smallpeice Trust and supported by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) and British Automation and Robotics Association (BARA), is designed to excite and inspire young people with a focus on the future of robotics. Schools are invited to attend the free event, targeted at Year 11 students, where they will be encouraged to take part in an engineering task using LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 core set and system.

The activity will engage students in an exciting computing, technology, engineering and maths challenge. It will encourage them to build, program and test their solutions based on LEGO building elements combined with real-world robotics technology. All participating schools will be in with a chance to win one of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 core sets, worth £370, which contains the EV3 Intelligent Brick, a compact and powerful programmable compute and intuitive icon-based programming and data logging software.

Speaking about the event, Laura Pickering, education and development coordinator, Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), said: “The MTA strongly believes in inspiring the next generation of engineers, and is proud to be collaborating with BARA and PPMA BEST on this STEM day. We are also committed to closing engineering’s gender gap, so we welcome the fact that the young people taking part in this event will be an equal mix of boys and girls.”

STEM days are widely acknowledged to support the aim of the National Curriculum and schools agenda by linking the curriculum to the wider world and demonstrating the direct relevance of subjects taught in school with the world of work.

PPMA BEST, established in 2014 by the PPMA Group of Associations, aims to encourage young people to enter and develop within the processing, packaging, automation and vision engineering industries. It offers a series of programmes including financial grants for engineering apprenticeships, match funded bursaries for engineering undergraduates and STEM days for secondary schools.

By addressing the on-going skills shortage and tackling short and longer-term recruitment needs, the charity aims to help the industry and its 500-member companies by growing the pool of next generation engineers through education and training.