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Babcock International has marked the first anniversary of its unique STEM partnership with Stoke Damerel Community College by presenting Year 11 Science students with memory sticks to support their GCSE revision.

The College has been working with STEM ambassadors from Babcock - the UK's leading engineering support services company - since November 2014 to promote learning and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Watch Babcock Project Film from SDCC Media & Film on Vimeo

Babcock's specialist engineers have given more than 100 hours of time over the past year to facilitate a variety of projects such as Key Stage 4's challenge to find a sustainable way to heat a pool for crab-eating macaques at Dartmoor Zoo.

They also supported the Key Stage 5 Engineering Development Trust (EDT) team who won a regional engineering prize with their idea for a robot that can inspect confined tanks on warships and submarines.

"We are extremely grateful for Babcock’s support," said Mr Barenskie, the College’s STEM leader.

"We are very fortunate to have access to the resources, time and expertise of such a skilled group of people and presenting our students with these large capacity memory sticks is a very generous gesture."

Babcock International

Engineering Development Trust

Mr Barenskie says the partnership is already having a demonstrable impact in the College.

"We are seeing a massive increase in interest in STEM subjects," he said.

"An especially pleasing aspect of this partnership is a 30% increase in the number of girls choosing to join extra-curricular STEM activities."
Tina Brinkworth, Babcock’s STEM lead, said she and her colleagues found their outreach work "very rewarding".

"Many people have an old-fashioned view of what an engineer is," she said.

"Initiatives like this demonstrate how diverse the careers and opportunities are for students studying STEM subjects.

"We are working with an impressive group of young people at Stoke Damerel – they are extremely focused and determined.

"They are developing so many transferable skills such as problem-solving and communication and they understand that achieving engineering competencies makes them extremely employable."

Michael Ledger, Business Development and Support Director, and Collwyn Griffiths, Business Support Manager, from Babcock came to the College on Friday 11 December 2015 to hear a presentation from students and to hand over the memory sticks which have been pre-loaded with all the Science revision the students will need for their GCSE exams next year.

Year 10 student Maisie said being part of the STEM group "gives you a real headstart".

"I've really enjoyed being part of the macaque project, doing something practical which is going to have a real impact," said Maisie.

"You also get to see how many jobs STEM subjects open up for you whether you are a boy or a girl."

As well as ongoing support for the Dartmoor Zoo initiative and this year's EDT group, plans for future projects include a Mother and Daughter STEM Day at the College and a residential camp for 60 students.

"We will be building cardboard boats and racing them and Babcock are going to help us with the fun element of that," said Mr Barenskie.

"It's been a really exciting first year and we are looking forward to building on and developing the partnership over the coming years."

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