BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK
British Science Week is an absolutely amazing week to get involved in, let me explain why. The week is in fact a 10-day programme of thousands of events which run throughout the whole of the UK. The aim is to celebrate Science, engineering, technology and Maths. The week is coordinated by the British Science Association and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy but there are no restrictions on who can organise events, the topics they focus on, the audience or the venue.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an important field as it pervades every part of our lives. There are currently over a million job vacancies in the STEM industry yet only 16% of university students are graduating in STEM fields or subjects. The industry is growing as Artificial Intelligence is developing, new research is constantly being released and the demand from STEM is increasing. The small intake of STEM graduates is worrying, but as we have been looking into the reasons behind why STEM is so underfilled, it can be seen that young people are not being prepared enough or informed well enough on how to prepare for university and different fields of work.
This week is one way in educating young people on the opportunities which STEM holds. As they take part in a variety of events and competitions, it is the perfect chance to have one’s interest piqued into the field. STEM is not only important within its own industry, but crucial to understanding the basics of our environment and in developing transferable skills which can be used in a variety of industries. In today’s world, we can understand more phenomena if we understand STEM - from the weather to technology and electricity, even to politics. Although we did mention that more STEM graduates are needed, it is equally vital for everyone to have an insight in order to be able to understand the world which they live in.
Studying STEM-related subjects allows for one’s horizons to be broadened. It gives young people the chance to explore new things, trial experiments and channel their eagerness to learn. While the arts and imagination are unfortunately often set aside in children, it is empowering to see that through STEM, they can practice these various aspects of thinking. It is precisely because STEM endorses the use of all the various parts of one brain that it opens up doors which are invaluable to almost any job. If we can help more people engage in science, it will not only attract a broader range of people for new STEM jobs, but it will allow for diversity in the people who contribute and participate in science and innovation. Fundamentally, this will create a fairer and more inclusive society.
It is important to note that British Science Week is not just for young people, but a chance for everyone to get involved and learn something new. From meeting Zoo Rangers (at Chester Zoo) to attending lectures at a range of universities, visiting the Big Bang Fair at the NEC and attending Games Festivals, there is something for everyone to get involved in!