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Awards shortlisting for student and school activities

17th April 2019

Northumbria University, Newcastle has been shortlisted for two awards for the support it gives to school children and its students.

The University is shortlisted for the Social Mobility and Students’ Union of the Year titles in the Educate North Awards, which recognises best practice and excellence in the North’s education sector.

Northumbria’s NUSTEM group works with schools across the region to encourage children to participate in science, technology, education and maths activities, which are known as STEM. Its aim is to encourage them to consider careers in the field. It helps to achieve this by working in partnership with organisations including the Centre for Life, the UK Space Agency and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

NUSTEM’s Primary Partnerships initiative works with 34 primary schools in deprived areas across seven local authorities in the North East. It supports children, parents and teachers through a range of activities including hands-on workshops and assemblies for children from Early Years to Year 6. These sessions give children and parents the opportunity to try out activities relating to STEM careers, such as being a solar physicist, a geologist, an environmental scientist or a botanist. It also provides training and development for teachers to help to develop their science teaching skills.

Dr Carol Davenport, Director of NUSTEM at Northumbria, said: “Our approach to STEM engagement with disadvantaged groups in primary schools is unique across England. We combine careers guidance with research around Science Capital. Our long-term approach, working regularly with children from pre-school until they leave primary school, allows repeated interaction with individual children throughout their primary education. This provides ample opportunity to widen children’s awareness of possible future careers in STEM.”

Northumbria Students’ Union (NSU) is also shortlisted for the Students’ Union of the Year title after launching five new services for students. In the last academic year, NSU launched five new services for students covering wellbeing, housing advice, volunteering. They introduced a peer mentoring service to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed at university and ran awareness campaigns on sexual health, male mental health and encouraging females to participate in sport.

Ryan Bush, Vice-President for Welfare and Equality in Northumbria Students’ Union, said: “In recent years we have seen a shift in student demographics and demands, with increased needs in areas of student welfare, resilience and community, as well as gaining full value from their degree as a launch pad into a career. As a result, we revised our corporate plan to ensure we were best meeting the changing needs of our student body. Being shortlisted for this award is recognition of how the Union has adapted and innovated to deliver new services that will play a major role in supporting our student community.”

The Educate North Awards 2019 will be held in Manchester on Thursday 25 April.

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