New University course to help teachers inspire next generation of engineers

 innovative Masters level course, which has been launched officially at the House of Lords.

The new course has been developed by the University of Wolverhampton, in partnership with the Institute for Education Business Excellence (IEBE) and The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Primarily aimed at teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, the course provides formal recognition of professional development placements, taken as part of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s hugely successful ‘STEPS at Work’ programme. By helping teachers to maximise the benefit of their placements and the contribution businesses make to classroom teaching, they will be better placed to inspire their students to pursue STEM careers.

More than 150 delegates from across education, business and government attended an event in Westminster to celebrate the success of STEPS At Work and to formally launch the course – which is the first of its kind in the UK. The event was sponsored by NYBEP, one of the country’s leading education business partnership organisations.

In an official address, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Chairman of IEBE, said: “The creation of this course is a ground-breaking moment for the way education and business work together. Teachers of STEM subjects will be able to take accredited learning for their industrial placements for the very first time, and in so doing, be better placed to do more for their students. This important and innovative development goes to the heart of IEBE’s mission to raise the status and standard of education business practice.”

Professor Sir Geoff Hampton, University of Wolverhampton Deputy Vice-Chancellor, added: "This is a very exciting development for the University, and also a natural one for us. We take pride in blending academic excellence and business involvement in all of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and we are delighted to be working with IEBE and The Royal Academy of Engineering to support STEM teachers’ professional practice.”

In welcoming the new course Dr Stephen Huntington, Chairman of the STEPS at Work programme said: “STEPS has demonstrated the enthusiasm that the connections between teachers and industry can generate - bringing excitement and relevance to the classroom. This new and innovative course will contribute to the programme becoming a sustainable and permanent feature of STEM education. And what’s more, help increase the number of students following scientific and engineering careers.”

An initial pilot cohort of teachers will be recruited to study the course from January-March 2012, with the finalised course available from mid-2012.

ENDS

STEPS at Work (Science, Technology, Engineering, Placements) is a national programme of professional placement opportunities for teachers and careers professionals, giving them valuable insights into the latest industrial practices and techniques. Since the launch of the programme in 2008, 450 companies have taken part, over 4,500 STEM teachers have benefitted, and over 100,000 students have been reached.

IEBE is an award-winning charity, and the professional home of education business practitioners working in schools, colleges, businesses and specialist learning providers. Its aim is to improve the employability and life chances of all young people in the UK. IEBE project manages STEPS at Work across England and Wales through a network of coordinators, including NYBEP.

The new postgraduate course – ‘Professional Development in Education Business Practice’ - is the first in a suite of accredited courses being developed by the University of Wolverhampton to align with IEBE’s professional membership levels: Associate, Member and Fellow.

www.wlv.ac.uk/steps

For more information contact Emma Pugh on 01902 322003 or Matthew Chiles on 07825 299443 or email matthew@iebe.org.uk

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