STEMFest 2023 Success

14th Jul 2023

Over 50 North East businesses exhibited, demonstrating opportunities to explore future careers in STEM related industries including, Space, Technology (Cyber Security), Environment and Energy, and Manufacturing.

STEMFest took place over three days in the first week of July at the VERTU Motors Arena in Newcastle in partnership with the Newcastle EAGLES community foundation. Coordinated by the North East STEM Hub and delivered by RTC North, the festival enabled nearly 3,000 schoolchildren to meet and engage with over 50 businesses who delivered hands-on activities related to their industry.

STEMFest is an interactive exhibition connecting 9 to 13-year-olds with the region’s STEM companies committed to providing job opportunities now and in the future to support the next generation into STEM sectors and to bolster the North East’s economy.

The headline sponsor this year was Cummins, a global power technology leader that designs, manufactures, distributes, and services a broad portfolio of power solutions.  Jonathan Wood, Chief Technical Officer for Cummins, said:

“We are thrilled to have been the headline sponsor for such a fantastic and engaging event. STEMFest was truly inspiring for all and showcased the difference we can make. Events such as these are vital to develop the next generations of leaders in STEM, and we can’t wait for the next one.”

Through four industry themed zones, businesses provided entertaining activities as well as industry knowledge with chances for the schoolchildren to ask questions. Each zone enabled primary and secondary schoolchildren to talk to specialists as well as meet inspiring individuals with backgrounds in STEM including Jim Christensen, Chief Innovation Officer for the Aldrin Family Foundation and former Director of Education at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, delivered an interactive workshop on Mars Maps.

Additionally, STEMFest enabled the companies exhibiting to meet and engage with each other during business networking events that took place on two afternoons. One of these networking events focussed on the Cyber First Programme which the North East STEM Hub helps to deliver and was aimed at companies interested in supporting the programme. CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities to help young people explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the fast-paced world of cyber security.

On the final day of the event, it was a pleasure to welcome Newcastle’s Central MP, Chi Onwurah who got to see and experience the event and talk with the Newcastle Eagles and Newcastle City Council about their innovative sport and STEM education project, Eagles Science of Basketball with the Reece Foundation.

Claire Willis Team Leader for the North East STEM Hub commented: “This year has been even bigger and better than last year and we are delighted that it has been received so well by teachers, pupils and exhibitors. We hope the event leaves a lasting legacy in the minds of the young people who attended and that they are now more aware of the employment and career options open to them, right here in the region.”

The zone sponsors included bp for the Environment and Energy zone, Lockheed Martin for the Space zone, the Manufacturing zone was supported by the Reece Foundation and the Technology zone was supported by the Community Foundation.

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