Unlocking STEM potential: Exciting bursary schemes for schools launched today

Charity EngineeringUK is launching two STEM bursary schemes to support primary and secondary schools with providing STEM engagement activities to students from all backgrounds.

The first bursary scheme opening is from Neon – a website that helps primary and secondary teachers introduce their students to future STEM careers, raise their aspirations and explore the excitement of engineering through brilliant activities and inspiring case studies and resources. Bursaries of up to £750 are available to enable schools to take part in Neon activities.

The second bursary scheme opening is from the popular The Big Bang programme – to support schools to host an inspiring day filled with exciting science and engineering activities, workshops and project work. £500 bursaries are available to support schools to host a Big Bang at School event.

Teacher and previous bursary recipient, Tom Gilfeather from Ashmole Academy in London, said: “The day was fantastic! The students were thoroughly engaged and excited about the day, a whole load of learning went on and as Neon say, they learned through this real experience.”

Susi Farnworth, head of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at EngineeringUK, said: “We know schools are keen to ensure all their students have access to the very best STEM inspiration activities, but unfortunately funding restrictions can be a challenge for many. 

“We’re delighted to be able to offer our STEM bursaries again this year and look forward to seeing more young people from all backgrounds enjoying exciting STEM experiences as a result. We hope this will help to inspire a diverse future generation of scientists, engineers and technologists.”

The bursary schemes are aimed at enabling young people from groups who are currently underrepresented in STEM professions to participate in  engagement programmes – these include girls, SEND students, students from UK minority ethnic backgrounds, and free school meal recipients. 

Schools are therefore recommended to ensure all students are encouraged to participate, not just those already interested in engineering and tech or other STEM careers.

Another bursary recipient, Amanda Moffat from Alderman Peel High School, said: “The experience was great – everyone got involved and it’s had a positive impact on the students. The experience allowed students to simulate real life work as an engineer.”

Schools can choose how they spend the bursaries, suggestions include:

  • Kit or an activity – for example, paying for a Neon experience or Big Bang at School, purchasing or leasing equipment, materials or resources
  • Travel – Neon bursaries can be spent on travel to an experience
  • Staff – for example, teacher or technician cover
  • Other – this can be specified in the application form

Primary and secondary schools in England and Scotland are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply at:

The deadline for applications for the Neon bursary scheme is 6 November 2023 and the deadline for applications for the Big Bang bursary scheme is 29 November 2023.

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