24 Jul 2024

SS Great Britain wins award for its Future Brunels STEM education programme

Future Brunels SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain Trust in Bristol won the ‘STEM Ambassador’ award at the Engineering & Manufacturing Awards. The award was given for the Trust’s pioneering ‘Future Brunels’ education programme and for its wider STEM engagement activities.

The Future Brunels initiative aims to support students from all backgrounds to access STEM careers. Launched in 2011, the programme enables students to take part in a five-year programme from the age of 11. It provides them with extraordinary, rich, and varied out-of-school engineering experiences.

This year has seen the Future Brunels programme double in size, meaning that 24 students can benefit from the initiative annually. The programme has also expanded beyond Bristol for the first time. Five new schools have become part of the programme: Fairfield High School; St. Katherine’s School; City Academy; John Cabot Academy, and Broadlands Academy.

The programme is supported by leading engineering companies with a shared interest in addressing inequality and barriers to STEM careers.

The judges praised the Future Brunels programme: “Our winning project was a universal favourite with the judges who described the programmes as a comprehensive, inspiring and scalable engagement effort that’s successfully reaching a large number of future engineers from a wide variety of backgrounds.”

The award also recognised the SS Great Britain Trust’s wider STEM engagement work, which includes workshops, family activities and special events.

Research published this month by Art Fund suggests that just over half of pupils from working-class backgrounds have visited a museum in the past year, compared to 70% of children from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds. The SS Great Britain Trust is tackling those statistics by opening up the magic of the SS Great Britain museums to students from all walks of life.

Dr Rachel Roberts, Deputy Director of the Brunel Institute (Education and STEM) at the SS Great Britain Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have received the STEM Ambassador award for our STEM programmes and activities.”

“Out-of-classroom STEM learning experiences, such as our Future Brunels programme, are vital in inspiring the next generation of engineers. We’re very grateful to the engineering companies across the West of England who give up their time to support our Future Brunels. They’re playing an invaluable role in addressing inequalities in STEM careers and creating a diverse talent pipeline for the region.”