Twelve young people are the latest to graduate from Bristol’s Future Brunels programme which offers students real-world experiences in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) during their five years at secondary school.
Launched by the SS Great Britain Trust in 2011, the programme is made possible with the support and expertise of the Brunel Institute Corporate Academy (BICA). Members of BICA include Airbus UK, Babcock International Group, BMT Defence Services, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce plc and Wessex Water.
Nearly 100 students have now been welcomed onto the programme, with many choosing to study STEM subjects at GCSE, A-level and beyond after graduation. Previous evaluation also heard many participants say they could imagine themselves doing a science-based job in future.
In October 2018 members of BICA met with the latest Future Brunel graduates and their families at an event on the SS Great Britain.
The graduates are: Franklin Avery, Georgia Purnell and Alex Davis from Bedminster Down School; Scarlett Beeston, Sumor Mckenzie and Saul Bhaidani from Cotham School; Amelia Wring, Morgan Brice and Joe Down from Merchants’ Academy and Kai Damani, Hermione Taylor-Morgan and Poppy Chambers from Redland Green School.
Teacher Chris Sheard of Bedminster Down School has been involved with the Future Brunels programme since 2014. He says:
“It has been really rewarding to see how our students have responded to this programme and found inspiration and enjoyment in STEM subjects. The opportunity for them to experience real-life examples of STEM in action, working with local organisations, is invaluable. It is no surprise that a number of our Future Brunel students have chosen STEM subjects at GCSE and A-Level, as well as demonstrated increased confidence in their daily work.”
Joining the programme this year are twelve Year 7 students: Holly Carter, Maisie Padfield and Elijah Rew from Bedminster Down School; Alexander Cox, Iola Budden and Amelia Spooner from Cotham School; Harrison Knapp, Alexandra Giampaglia and Eli Villanueva from Merchants’ Academy and Jasmine Chung, Eoin Halloran and Bertie Cook from Redland Green School.
The students follow a programme inspired by the multi-disciplinary talents of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It includes hands-on activities such as exploring the science behind the rollercoasters at Thorpe Park, discovering forensic science at UWE’s ‘Crime Scene House’, exploring Virtual Reality technology with Rolls-Royce or exploring the process of research and development with Dyson engineers.
SS Great Britain Trust’s Acting Director of Education, Dr Rachel Roberts, says:
“Huge congratulations to all this year’s graduates. It has been a pleasure to work with them and see their enthusiasm and expertise for STEM subjects grow. It was great to meet with them and their families earlier this month, along with the BICA members who really make this programme possible.”
One of this year’s graduates, Kai Damani, has already secured the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship which is awarded to students in the UK who aspire to a career in engineering, computing and related areas of technical design. Another current Future Brunel, India Garrett-Cox, won the Duke of York’s prestigious Pitch @ Palace competition in 2017 after designing an innovative app to tackle food waste with a school friend.
The SS Great Britain Trust is a partner in the government’s Year of Engineering campaign.
In March 2018 the Trust launched Being Brunel, a major addition at Brunel’s SS Great Britain showcasing the world’s most significant Brunel collection. Featuring six galleries, the new museum sets out some 150 of Brunel’s personal artefacts – many never seen before – providing unprecedented insight into his life, family, interests and creative mind.
About the Future Brunels programme
The Future Brunels programme aims to inspire and enthuse young people with science and engineering throughout their time at secondary school.