Sponsorship Inspires the Next Generation
29th June, 2017
Education is the engine of the future. As we live in a world that requires skilled people to run our technology, a shortage in this sector of the workforce will slow us down. According to the Daily Telegraph, 43% of STEM skilled vacancies in the UK are difficult to fill. Across the world, there is a shortage of workers for this highly technical world. And as technology continues to advance, the shortage will become more extreme.
Sponsorship should be part of the solution. Governments are building STEM skill learning into their education strategies but it is expensive and will not solve the problem fast enough. STEM skills are needed in the workplace now. Private schools have the money to push STEM education but only 7% of the UK population attends private schools. State schools have not been given enough resources to make big changes in STEM education. Not only do we need skilled teachers, but teachers need to be inspirational. Children need role models to look up to and follow so we need to provide inspiration beyond the national curriculum. Children of today are digital natives and need to be educated to work to develop their technological world. Sponsorship can provide not only the resources but also the essential spark that is so badly lacking in our schools.
Sponsorship should support STEM education as it has the power to ignite STEM interest in young people. Yesterday, the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car visited ICS, a school in North London. It is a technologically complex machine that will attempt to break the land speed record and hit 1000mph in a South African desert next year. A new partnership has been created between Bloodhound SSC and Saudi Aramco to support the Bloodhound SSC traveling to schools across the UK. The charismatic team headed by Mike Ford used interactive projects to explain the complex technology to the roomful of excited children who sat in rapt attention before queuing up to sit in the simulator. The children heard the story and watched footage of the brave Wing Commander Andy Green and then worked on technical problem-solving projects that the Bloodhound SSC had needed to work out to develop. Partnerships can offer interesting engagement that conventional education cannot always achieve and prove that STEM is both exciting and relevant.
Sponsorship involves many people working towards a common goal. Though the Bloodhound SSC continues to develop new technologies and push boundaries, it now has the added mission to promote the uptake of STEM subject by schoolchildren and inspire passion for the disciplines that make such a project possible. Saudi Aramco is a leader in innovation and has cutting-edge technologies in the field of energy. It has a developed programme in Saudi Arabia to promote the study of STEM subjects by young students and educate teachers to address its problem of the shortage of skilled workers. Governments across the world acknowledge the need for more STEM students. In a technological world with such a need for skilled workers, all interests will be aligned to support the partnership.
Sponsorship is a story that can engage for a lifetime. The story of the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car began more than 25 years ago and over the years has evolved into its current configuration with the original driver Richard Noble as the Project Director. People around the world have been following the story of the Bloodhound SSC since the 1980’s and look forward to each new exciting development. Saudi Aramco’s support will be entwined with the story of the Bloodhound SSC as it attempts the record and furthers technological advances. Children who are introduced to the Bloodhound SSC will never forget the day the modular car visited their school and will follow and support the project in the news, on the website and on social media. The memory will last a lifetime of engagement.
The partnership of Saudi Aramco and Bloodhound SSC is providing a solution to the problem of STEM skill shortage by inspiring the next generation to pursue STEM careers.