Today Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, met STEM Co-ordinator, Nick Galvin, to discuss his vision to encourage a love of science and technology in Havering’s primary-aged children.
As a science specialist at the Coopers’ Company & Coborn School in Upminster, Mr Galvin has noticed that nationally students often exhibit an indifference towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), which he believes could be turned into a passion if children were inspired from a much younger age to engage with science, tech and its possibilities.
To address this, over the past few years Mr Galvin has been running science workshops for primary schools in the borough, free of charge, either in the form of an hour-long ‘science show’ or a show combined with practical activities for the pupils. He has the backing of his Upminster school in this work and now wants to expand these high quality collaborations between Havering’s secondary and primary educators to get more students into STEM. He has been working with local businesses to secure financial support and has a number of teachers keen to share science expertise with primary colleagues.
As Minister for a number of industries which require skilled scientists, engineers and technicians, Mrs Lopez expressed her enthusiasm for encouraging young constituents into STEM careers. As a local MP, she also set out to Mr Galvin the large number of job opportunities coming down the track from nearby construction, engineering and technology projects that she would like to see Havering students fill, from the Lower Thames Crossing to the new film studios being built in Dagenham.
Mrs Lopez agreed to help Mr Galvin advance his project and has written to primary school teachers from across the borough to encourage their collaboration. Mr Galvin aims to establish a hub and library resource at Coopers where primary school teachers could access information, assistance, or email any scientific enquiries to, and is developing a suite of extra curricular project days and recorded shows.
Mrs Lopez said, ‘The country needs to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, and generate advances that will benefit everyone - whether that’s in low carbon construction, digital innovation or scientific breakthroughs in healthcare. To do that, we have to get even the youngest of children inspired by science and to see all the exciting careers that could be open to them in future. I love Mr Galvin’s passion for his subject and energy in wanting to open young people’s minds to the wonderful possibilities in STEM’.