Working with STEM partners through the Coronavirus lockdown

The ERA Foundation is proud to continue to work with our marvellous partners as we all adapt to a world where the remote delivery of STEM education is the only route available to enthuse and encourage young people in the face of lockdown and social distancing.

Partnership has always been at the heart of the way we have worked to achieve our aims.

As the world has adapted to remote delivery we have continued to support our partners to deliver resources to those who need them.

Existing Projects –

The Bristol STEM Accord Pilot:

Initial results of the Bristol STEM Accord pilot have been excellent. However, the programme was heavily based on providing “hands-on” support to local schools. To keep their staff and students safe STEM Accord has temporarily furloughed its Bristol Pilot Project Manager but will keep in touch with potential industry supporters and use the coming weeks to complete its initial analysis report.

We believe this will place us in the best position to restart the pilot once schools return.

The Smallpeice Trust

While projects may be delayed to next year the Arkwright Awards are going ahead using remote assessment of candidates.

Design and Technology Association

The Foundation has sponsored a series of short videos for this year to enthuse young people to take up Engineering Design and work is progressing on this remotely.

The Foundation is now working with DATA on their exciting Blueprint1000 initiative with a view to supporting them over the next two years.

STEM Learning

The Foundation is discussing with STEM learning the potential to work together in a two-year pilot programme that could strengthen support from the government for more support for FE STEM education, something that would be welcomed by the industry.  

New Projects


In2science is an award-winning charity which empowers students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their potential and progress to STEM and research careers through high-quality work placements and careers guidance.  

They are working hard on alternative plans for this summer which have changed substantially due to COVID-19.  In2scienceUK is 100% face to face programme supporting young people from the poorest backgrounds access summer work placements working alongside science and engineering professionals as well as skills days and workshops. With universities and companies closing In2scienceUK are unable to deliver this programme and have received over 1000 applications from young people already.

As a result, they have decided that they will still support the target of 500 young people but aim to move all support online using an online platform.

Over the past two weeks, they have worked to identify which tools are needed in an online platform and analysed numerous products and are moving forward in allowing young people can access videos of scientists and engineers, complete courses, assignments, quizzes, virtually meet their mentors (instead of placements) as well as participate in webinars.

Crucially this is something that will be sustainable and will in future years enable In2scienceUK to reach young people living in poverty but are from rural areas and unable to attend a work placement or their workshops.  This development will also enable In2scienceUK to leverage the skills and expertise of 100s of science and engineering professionals who may not be very busy over the next 3 months and get them to form high quality and inspiring online materials and videos for the students.

The Foundation are delighted to provide early support for this very worthwhile programme.

Primary Engineers STATWARS

Primary Engineer has, since 2005, developed an engineering curriculum that spans Early Years and Primary educational phases.

The core aims include; the development of skills both practical and cognitive in children and young people through engagement with engineering, the promotion of engineering careers through inspiring programmes and competitions, the development of STEM skills for teachers and practitioners as a sustainable model and working to address the gender imbalance in science, technology and engineering.

Primary Engineer is planning to launch an exciting new programme called STATWARS. This will engage 7,000+ primary and secondary children in live projects involving data analysis.

Given the huge and ever-increasing importance of understanding how to assemble, analyse and interpret data in all aspects of engineering and design as well as in wider social and economic contexts, we felt this was an initiative where Foundations early support could make a large impact.

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash