Guest Blog|In2scienceUK Covid-19 response
The BIA is a supporter of the the award winning charity In2scienceUK. This year In2scienceUK has launched an ambitious Covid-19 response allowing young people across the country to gain essential skills, role models and knowledge on STEM Skills and careers. In this blog, their Development Officer Luke McKelvey tells us about the programme and how BIA members can get involved.
Covid-19 has had a drastic effect on communities across the United Kingdom. The outbreak has shown both the importance of qualified and dedicated healthcare and medical professionals and also the sacrifice given by many front line key workers. It has never been more important to ensure a pipeline of STEM professionals needed to guarantee institutions such as the NHS are fully staffed for the future generations. At the heart of this has always been successfully engaging and inspiring younger generations to recognise the diverse array of fulfilling careers available to them in STEM. By unlocking the potential of people from low-income backgrounds we can support the development of greater inclusion and social mobility within a dynamic and thriving STEM sector.
The damaging social effects of Covid-19
Young people from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds have suffered significantly from the social effects of Covid-19. With school, colleges and youth education centres closed and limited for the considerable future, many are now losing the only positive influence in their lives. Furthermore, many young people supported by In2scienceUK are struggling with mounting stress, often due to the constraints of living in multigenerational households with limited access to green space and relying on one working family member to support the family. The Covid-19 outbreak is contributing to an ever increasing social crisis with young people left without adequate access to opportunities, support or education.
In2scienceUK’s Covid-19 response
In2scienceUK has been supporting young people from low income backgrounds that are recipients of free school meals, have parents with no higher education experience and live in areas in which progression to higher education is low since 2011. The In2scienceUK work placement programme normally offers these young people high-quality placements enabling participants to undertake real research and experiments with STEM professionals. The programme also includes workshops and skills days giving high-quality information and guidance on CV writing, interview and application skills which are of vital importance to the lives of all young people. The current situation concerning the outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in In2scienceUK transforming our programme to an online platform so we can continue to provide support to young people remotely. In2scienceUK is working tirelessly to ensure the new digital platform is as impactful, positive and effective as its traditional face to face programme.
Mentoring for greater inclusion in STEM
The In2scienceUK virtual programme will enable STEM professionals to work with young people on the programme and provide them with essential mentoring to gain core STEM skills and competencies. Currently, it costs £300 to recruit, train and provide materials for each essential mentor taking part in the In2scienceUK virtual programme. This also covers additional costs relating to the development of digital mentoring webinars, meetings and online workshops. This year thousands of young people have applied to take part and we are keen to help as many as we can to access the support they require. We need dedicated STEM professional mentors more than ever to meet the increase in demand for our award-winning programme. With your support, we will be able to make a positive difference in the lives of young people regardless of the significant challenges they face.
If you would like to sponsor a mentor for £300 and make a positive contribution to the lives of young people whose lives are currently on hold due to the lockdown, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we can ensure more young people can overcome the challenges they face and reach a brighter future.