Drive to encourage students to study science and engineering at university

The Dancop STEM bus visits The Bolsover School, photographed by Richard Richards Photography.
The Dancop STEM bus visits The Bolsover School, photographed by Richard Richards Photography.

Construction, social anthropology and ethical computer hacking were among the topics which pupils learned on board a double-decker bus.

The vehicle, which was kitted out with classrooms, visited The Bolsover School to encourage young people to study subjects such as science and engineering at university.

Aimed at learners in years nine to 13, the STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) Bus is run by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP).

Project manager Megan Hubbard said: “Figures show that young people in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are less likely to enter higher education than in other areas of the country despite receiving similar GCSE results.

“We’re working with over 100 schools and other local organisations to provide activities which give inspiration, increase aspiration and support young people to begin the journey to a great career.”

Joining the learners at The Bolsover School were head of widening access and co-chairman of the DANCOP Steering Group, Krisha Bainham, and the chairman of DANCOP governance board Professor Malcolm Todd, who is also provost (academic) of the University of Derby.

Professor Todd said: “There is a nationwide skills shortage in science, technology, engineering and maths, and we know that many businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire struggle to recruit workers with the required skill levels to meet their needs.

“It is important that we take that information out to schools and to get children and parents thinking about higher education, finding out about the brilliant teaching and learning that goes on in our universities, and exploring where that could eventually lead.”

The STEM bus tour will continue across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in November and December. It can be booked by schools, email: info@teamdancop.co.uk