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Renishaw engineers share expertise to increase pupils’ STEM skills

14 December 2016

Global engineering technologies company Renishaw is participating in the 2017 FameLab Academy to improve the science communication skills of Gloucestershire school pupils. Engineers Emma Robertson and Kirsty Wynne will take part in the initiative as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) mentors to offer advice and expertise on how to deliver an effective scientific presentation. Renishaw will also offer work placements to winning students.

FameLab Academy is a competition for Year 9 students in Gloucestershire run by Cheltenham Festivals and supported by EDF Energy. Participating students deliver a three minute presentation on a scientific or engineering topic of their choice to a panel of judges. The students are graded on content, clarity and charisma. The best presentation from each school is selected for the Gloucestershire final, a work placement in a local STEM business and a two-day Communication Masterclass.

Each of the 14 participating schools is partnered with a STEM mentor. Renishaw engineer Emma Robertson will mentor Stroud High School and Kirsty Wynne will mentor Wyedean School near Chepstow. Renishaw's two engineers will offer their guidance to pupils on how to give an effective presentation.

“There is a serious shortage of female engineers,” explained Emma Robertson. “In the UK, only nine per cent of the engineering workforce is female. Sharing insight into my career during the FameLab Academy at an all-girls school is an opportunity to raise awareness and interest in the range of engineering and scientific careers available to young people.

“In the STEM industries communication is an extremely important skill,” continued Robertson. “It can be difficult to explain complex technical information clearly and concisely for a range of audiences. Developing the student's interpersonal, communication and presentation skills is essential for ensuring a skilled and talented workforce in the future, an objective to which Renishaw is fully committed.”

“FameLab Academy is revolutionising science education in the county and changing students' hearts and minds about STEM subjects,” explained Ali Mawle, Education Director at Cheltenham Festivals. “We received 100 per cent positive feedback from the schools that took part last year and this year 50 per cent more Gloucestershire students will participate – that's 1500.

“Through FameLab Academy workshops, students are given the tools to communicate and as a result their confidence soars, and through links with industry and the British Science Association CREST Awards, FameLab is very relevant to real life and the students' futures.”

Renishaw is a leading engineering company involved in a large number of outreach projects to encourage children and young people to participate in engaging STEM activities and open their eyes to STEM careers. This includes work with Greenpower, Young Engineers, Bristol Music Trust and work experience weeks awarded full recognition by the Skills for Stroud Work Experience and Employability Charter.

For more information on Renishaw's commitment to education outreach, visit www.renishaw.com/en/education

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