A Sutton Coldfield grammar school – one of the oldest schools in the country – has received a grant to fund state-of the art science equipment and 3D technology.
Birmingham’s Millennium Point Trust has awarded more than £21,000 to the Design and Robotics Club at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School for new robotics machinery and a 3D printer – plus their installation – which will be ready for use in September.
The presentation was made by Judith Armstrong, Chief Executive of Millennium Point, during a tour of the school which included the dedicated STEM block that opened in December 2016.
The Trust, which mainly achieves its funding through the commercial activities of Millennium Point, Birmingham’s Eastside anchor building, gives grant support to organisations advancing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in the West Midlands.
Speaking at the school, Ms Armstrong praised the faculty for providing such an excellent environment in which school pupils can learn and experiment and said:
“It is vital that young people are given the opportunity to take an interest in science, technology and engineering. These subjects will provide them with a life-long interest and potentially life-long employment. The UK is home to 47,000 digital technology companies – of which three-quarters are based outside London – and it’s estimated that tech and digital alone will add £2.2 billion to the West Midlands economy by 2025 with an additional 84,000 jobs – which makes us a great region to spearhead technology.
“This new equipment, which the Trust is delighted to support, will allow students to gain experience and improve their knowledge and skills in design, analysis and operation of advanced technology.
“This year we received a record number of applications and deciding which should receive awards was challenging but we felt that the work by Bishop Vesey stimulating young minds absolutely fits the Trust’s criteria. It is encouraging to see young people taking a real interest in STEM as a future career. It is what Birmingham, the West Midlands and Britain needs.
“It gives me and the trustees great pleasure to see the direct impact we can have as a charity on other organisations in line with our aims of promoting STEM education opportunities.”
Brian Davies, Development Director at Bishop Vesey, said:
“Maths, chemistry and physics are some of our most popular A Level subjects, and many students go on to study STEM subjects at university. For an ambitious school like Bishop Vesey, this grant will really help us to support the huge demand for STEM resources. We hope our robotics club next year will go from strength to strength.”
In addition to the grant to Bishop Vesey, Millennium Point Trust is to continue its flagship initiative, the Millennium Point Scholarship.
Now in its fifth year, the Scholarship encourages underprivileged young people to pursue STEM careers by funding one young person’s STEM degree each year at Birmingham City University. This year’s winner was 17-year old Walsall Academy student Ryan Dowell, who will start his course in Civil Engineering in September.