Project Encouraging STEM Education

ACAP is a volunteer led Charity which was established to raise the educational achievement and welfare of disadvantaged people from the West Yorkshire area of the UK. Through GiveBradford and Liz and Terry Bramhall Fund support: they created the project ‘iSTEM’, which provided mentoring services to young people in the areas of STEM. 

  • In a nutshell, could you tell us what your Leeds Community Foundation funded project involves?

Our project involves facilitating STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Maths) classes and workshops for young people to provide them with opportunities to learn and advance in areas that they are currently underrepresented in. The project has recruited professional teachers, tutors and trainers who have worked on some exciting assignments thus far.

 

  • Why is this kind of support so vital, what’s the need and what might be the situation if the support you offer didn’t exist?

Support has been vital as it has enabled ACAP to deliver a new programme of learning in STEM which we have not had the opportunity to do before now.  The young people we work with are from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds in West Yorkshire and attend some of the worst performing schools. If we didn’t offer these educational opportunities to young people, they would be stuck in the same cycle of underperformance at school.

 

  • Could you share a rewarding moment you’ve had so far? Is there a particular story you could share from a beneficiary you’ve helped?

Ezzimiah is one of our students who absolutely hated Science. He was not on his own. We found that through exciting experiments and one-to-one support in his areas of weakness, he has discovered a newfound appreciation for the subject. He is always the first to get to our support classes and has become a volunteer himself, after directly benefiting from what our project has to offer.

 

  • What made you apply for a Foundation grant and what difference has the funding from the Foundation made?

We applied because the fund seemed to fit perfectly with the aims of our charity. We wanted to develop our STEM activities in the community so that we could reach more young people and encourage them to perhaps take up a career in a STEM subject in the future. The fund has made an enormous difference, so much so that ACAP has been selected as a leading Science Organisation for 2020 by the British Science Association.

 

Quote from one student(Age 13)

“I have enjoyed the classes, I didn’t think I would but I have.  I have learned so much about Science and I have improved my IT skills as well.  Next we are working on a robotics project with Ben and Nathan and I am glad I have been chosen for this. I love making things and finding out about how they are made”.