Voyage of scientific and engineering discovery for school pupils

A new innovative programme of discovery has been launched at the University of Sheffield to help school pupils across South Yorkshire delve into the intriguing worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.


Discover STEM is an aspiration-raising scheme launched by the University's Outreach Team designed to inspire and enthuse teenagers from under-represented groups or those who have experienced barriers preventing their progression to higher education.

More than 60 Year 12 students, from 26 local sixth forms and colleges across the region, embarked on their first step of the two year programme last week (Friday 14 December 2012) at an interactive event.

The day gave youngsters the chance to work with current University of Sheffield undergraduate ambassadors, the Science and Engineering Champions, who gave them an exciting insight into the variety of world-leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses on offer at the University.

The teambuilding and problem solving workshops included Engineer your Life, led by local artist Cassie Limb and Dr Caroline Evans of the Biological and Environmental Systems Group which showed the students the importance of STEM subjects in everyday life.

Pupil Maaria Naziq from Sheffield Park Academy said: "I am looking forward to taking part in the Discover STEM programme as it will give me the opportunity to experience different aspects of university life.

"Talking to the Science and Engineering Champions and taking part in the activity has made me more determined to study science at university."

Fellow student William Wood from Brookfield Engineer your lifeCommunity School added: "Meeting and talking with the Science and Engineering Champions really helped me to think about what I would like to study at university.

"I am looking forward to taking part in the practical workshops next year and working with the Champions again."

Over the next two years the students will take part in a number of practical activities and work alongside current University students and academics from associated departments. In addition they will receive support and guidance in applying to university though a range of study skills workshops and information sessions.

Kristen Fretwell, Outreach Activities Officer, said: "The Discover STEM programme aims to excite, inspire and inform students of the vast array of opportunities and career possibilities if they choose to study science, engineering or maths at university.

"The 21st century continues to see an increase in technological and scientific advancements, from nano-technology, robotic prosthetics and record-breaking sky-scrapers to research into the cure for cancer, nurological and genetic diseases. If we continue at this current rate of technological and scientific evolution we will require many more people working in science, engineering and maths.

"It was fantastic to finally meet the Discover STEM students and introduce this exciting new programme. The Discover STEM programme will hopefully provide these students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to apply and be successful at university as well as providing a unique insight and a taster of what the University of Sheffield can offer."

Additional information

University of Sheffield Outreach
The University of Sheffield is fully committed to encouraging young children to achieve their full potential, irrespective of their backgrounds. The University’s Outreach Team has a long history of working with schools, colleges and community groups to widen participation to Higher Education and wants to make a real difference to the lives of people in our region. As a result, much of the work the team does targets schools and colleges in South Yorkshire and the neighbouring areas to deliver a broad programme of centrally managed pre-entry activity, working with a vast age range of students, from Year 5 upwards.
For more information visit Outreach

The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, and 2007).

These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859