Discover STEM - New University of Sheffield programme for year 12/13 students from a widening participation background

Three students looking at a blue light transilluminatorDiscover STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is an exciting new outreach scheme developed by the University of Sheffield as part of the plans set out in its Access Agreement for 2012/13.

This programme, a collaboration between the outreach team and the faculties of Science and Engineering, offers post-16 students the chance to gain a real insight into opportunities in Higher Education for those studying Maths and Science (A levels or equivalent) and an understanding of future career possibilities.

Initially this programme will target students in year 12 who are studying A Levels in Maths and Science or equivalent qualifications and who meet the academic and widening participation criteria for the scheme. More information on the criteria is available on our Schools and Colleges STEM webpages.

Participation in the scheme will provide access to facilities here at the University through a series of activities and events aimed at broadening students' horizons and inspiring them to consider entering Higher Education to study Science, Maths, Engineering or Computer Science. In addition to technical sessions, participants will also take part in study skills sessions and workshops to help them prepare for the transition to university.

Sue Armstrong, Recruitment Officer in the Faculty of Engineering commented: “This is a great opportunity for young people to deepen their knowledge and understanding of topics and careers they may otherwise never have considered.  Also, given the historic under-representation of women in STEM careers, we are particularly keen to encourage more girls to consider these subjects."

In addition to the Discover STEM programme, the University will also be offering activities for students in years 9 and 10 in the form of STEM taster days throughout the year. We are planning to host a year 11 residential experience in early July 2013 to encourage students to apply to the Post-16 Discover STEM programme for the following academic year.

Further STEM experiences for students who do not fulfil the widening participation criteria will be available throughout the year.

Information (including about the application process) will be sent out to schools and colleges at the beginning of October, with the intention of starting the scheme in the first week of December.

If you would like more information in the meantime, please contact Gaynor Hamilton, Outreach Projects Manager at