Renishaw engineers share expertise to increase pupils’ STEM skills

Renishaw engineers will be taking part in the 2017 FameLab Academy as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) mentors to offer advice and expertise to school pupils in Gloucestershire on how to deliver an effective scientific presentation. Renishaw will also offer work placements to winning students.

“There is a serious shortage of female engineers,” explained Emma Robertson, one of Renishaw’s STEM mentors. “In the UK, only 9% of the engineering workforce is female. Sharing insight into my career during the FameLab Academy at an all-girls school is an opportunity to raise awareness and interest in the range of engineering and scientific careers available to young people.”

FameLab Academy is a competition for Year 9 students in Gloucestershire run by Cheltenham Festivals and supported by EDF Energy. Participating students deliver a three-minute presentation on a scientific or engineering topic of their choice to a panel of judges. The students are graded on content, clarity and charisma. The best presentation from each school is selected for the Gloucestershire final, a work placement in a local STEM business and a two-day Communication Masterclass.

“In the STEM industries communication is an extremely important skill,” continued Robertson. “It can be difficult to explain complex technical information clearly and concisely for a range of audiences. Developing the student’s interpersonal, communication and presentation skills is essential for ensuring a skilled and talented workforce in the future.”

Each of the 14 participating schools is partnered with a STEM mentor. Robertson will mentor Stroud High School and a second Renishaw engineer, Kirsty Wynne, will mentor Wyedean School near Chepstow on how to give an effective presentation.

Ali Mawle, education director at Cheltenham Festivals, explained: “Through FameLab Academy workshops, students are given the tools to communicate and as a result their confidence soars, and through links with industry and the British Science Association CREST Awards, FameLab is very relevant to real life and the students’ futures.”