In light of our recent scholarship application launch, we understand that finding the motivation to apply can be challenging. However, let these stories of these talented professionals serve as inspiration for you to embark into the world of STEM and push yourself to achieve new heights.

Annie Easley – The Human Computer

At the time, Easley was looking for a job after relocating when she discovered an article about two sisters who were “human computers” at the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio. Two weeks later, after the reading the article, Easley began her career that spanned across 34 years, contributing to numerous programs as a computer scientist.

Easley’s career involved analysing problems and solving complexed mathematical calculations by hand, awarding her with the title of human computer. Easley would go on to break barriers for women and people of colour, inspiring them to pursue STEM opportunities.

Gitanjali Rao – American’s Top Youngest Scientist 2017

Inspired by the Flint Michigan water crisis, Rao invented a life-changing device that can detect lead in water at the age of 11. Rao’s dedication to her work earned her a place in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30. In recent years, Rao has been taking part in the research of cell biology at the University of Colorado, using the latest genetic engineering to find a solution to prescription opioid addiction epidemic.

Rao is an active STEM ambassador, inspiring young people by promoting STEM-based activities in schools and the community. Rao continues to affect students globally by sharing her knowledge, tools, and encouragement.

Morris Mbetsa – Africa’s First Flying Taxi

Morris, a self-taught engineer, created an innovative solution to Africa’s traffic and poor road infrastructure issues. At the age of 28, Morris manufactured Africa’s first flying taxi. This drone transports passengers for around 25 minutes, and at speeds of up to 120km an hour. The young entrepreneur uses his talents to generate easy-to-use, inexpensive technological solutions that are accessible to his community.

At the young age of 6, Morris discovered his passion for technology, as he has stated on The Kenyan network K24, “Technology is my life. I never watched football while growing up. My room was full of electronics and wires.”

Ronjon Nag – Smartphone Pioneer

Shortly after becoming a newly graduate, Nag invented breakthrough technology for smart devices such as handwriting recognition, predictive text, application of speech recognition and touch screens for mobile devices. He later went on to become the founder of R42 institute, a US and UK-based company that invents and invests in AI and Biotech.

Nag has gone to work with big names such as Apple, BlackBerry, and Motorola after becoming a technological pioneer. As well as becoming a ground-breaking entrepreneur, Nag was also a professor in Genetics at the Stanford School of Medicine, committed to providing inclusive and accessible education.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell – Beyond the Stars

Whilst studying at the University of Glasgow, Burnell discovered pulsars, the cosmic sources of peculiar radio pulses. After graduating, she frequently worked in gamma ray, X-ray, infrared and millimetre wavelength astronomy. In 2015, Burnell was awarded a Royal Medal by the Royal Society and became the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

After winning a breakthrough prize, Burnell donated all the proceedings to the institute of Physics to set up scholarships for graduates and those in under-represented communities to have access to study physics.

Are you Interested in a Career in STEM?

We hope these stories have truly inspired you and encourage you to achieve greatness. If you have any questions about our Scholarship scheme, you can contact our friendly Trust team.

This year’s scholarship applications are now open for applicants to embark on a new educational journey into the world of STEM. In partnership with Birmingham City University (BCU), each year Millennium Point Trust fund an undergraduate degree at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment facility.

Our scholarship programme has over 20 courses to choose from. Applications are now open, with a deadline of Friday 8th March 2024 at 5pm, allowing you plenty of time to complete your application.

Meet Safa Bibi, last year’s Scholarship winner

Safa Bibi from Small Health was studying Applied Science at South and City College, Birmingham and is now studying a degree in Computer Science at Birmingham City University as of September 2023. Safa’s passion for computer science and inspiration drawn from women in STEM encouraged her to apply for our scholarship program. With the support of Millennium Point Trust, Safa now studies the subject she is deeply passionate about.

Safa states, “Winning the scholarship has made me feel seen and heard by more than just my community of family and friends, so I feel like I can do more and achieve more. I hope that me winning the scholarship empowers other women and ethnic minorities to start applying for scholarships and these roles in STEM.”

Applying is easy and simple

The competition is open to you if you are 18 by, and looking to start an undergraduate degree in September 2024 and live within the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Read the application form carefully and start to answer each question. Think about why you want to study your chosen degree and what you want to do in the future. Also discuss any personal attributes and skills that could help you be the next winner of the Scholarship.

The application has two-stages, with the final stage being an assessment day in May. Finalists will be invited to participate in developmental workshops that will focus on supporting our personal development and professionalism in both interview and presentation skills.

We are here to help you every step of the way

We want everyone to have the best chance of success when applying for our scholarship scheme, so it is important to be confident when writing your application. That’s why we have created a helpful guide to aid throughout your application. Keep an eye out on our social media channels as well as our website for blogs, videos for additional resources to further assist you.

You can always contact our friendly Trust team for any other enquires you may have.

Apply today for a life-changing opportunity

Our applications are now open with the deadline on Friday 15th March 2024 at 5pm, so apply now and start your journey into the world of STEM.

Applications for our charitable Trust STEM Grants programme are now open!

Our grants are available from £1,000 to £20,000 to individual applicants to support science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) education in Birmingham and the wider region. Applications close at 5pm on Friday 8th December 2023, meaning you have got just under a month to apply. You can apply here.

We want everyone to have the best chance of success. That’s why we have put some useful tips below.

A good plan is half the work done

To get started, complete the form that can be easily downloaded from our website. Have a read through all the sections and start to complete them in as much detail as you can as this will help us when our team begin to shortlist applications.

Clearly plan what the aims of the project and how those aims will be achieved. Don’t forget to include details on how the success of the project will be measured. This is where using ‘SMART’ objectives will be useful.

Make sure your application is detailed with what activities will take place, when, and where they will be carries out will also help chances of being successful. Have a look through your budget plan and ensure it contained the correct pricing and quantities for everything you need to achieve your project.

When talking about your project look at the link between the project and the selected category choice. Make sure the connection is clear to show why you’re doing the project and how it will benefit your chosen group. Also plan about the duration of the project, will it be throughout the year, or could the project be done in a day? Can the project be repeated with the resources bought, or is it a one-off project?

For extra help the guidance and FAQ pages will help you with your application, you can always contact our friendly Trust team too STEMgrants@millenniumpoint.org.uk.

Submitting your application or grants

Have a read through your final application, ensure that it’s clear, precise and explains all about the exciting project you have planned.

After you have decided you’re happy with your application, submit it to us by email – STEMgrants@millenniumpoint.org.uk. Make sure you send it in before the 5pm on 8th December 2023.

What happens next?

Once it’s sent over, out fantastic Trust team will send you an email acknowledging receipt, you won’t hear from us again until a decision has been made. All applications will be read through by the Grants team and then moderated by a separate panel. It will finally be presented to our Trustees who will make the final decision on the successful applicants. At this stage you don’t have to do anything but wait for the good news!

Our grants help make STEM happen!

Over the past five years, the Millennium Point Charitable Trust has awarded over £2 million to charities, not-for-profits, community groups and schools to further STEM education. Millennium Point Charitable Trust has previously seen the rewarding outcome of past projects such as designing the perfect community at Lyng Primary School and Sandwell College going 3D.

Last year Millennium Point Trust saw 100 applications from not-for-profit organisations in aim of receiving a share of the grant money.

 

Scholarships are a great way to offer people the opportunity to study a university degree that may not have the financial needs to do so. Unfortunately, nearly ¼ of students in the UK can’t afford to go to university, making scholarships an excellent way to get people into further education and advance their careers. 

So how are we at Millennium Point supporting students in the West Midlands with our STEM Scholarship funding? 

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a form of financial aid provided by independent third parties or universities to support students through their education.

What does our STEM Scholarship involve?

At Millennium Point our STEM Scholarship gives one student a year the opportunity to study a STEM degree at Birmingham City University, with students being able to study courses relating to:

We have over 20 courses you can choose from that you can explore on our scholarships page.

To be successful within your application, you’ll need to undergo two stages.These are your initial application and an assessment day.

If you make it to the final, you’ll be invited to get involved in developmental workshops that will support your personal development and professionalism within interviews and presentation skills. 

Eligibility 

To be eligible for our STEM Scholarship you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

How to apply 

The online application form will be accessible in January 2024 and will include questions about who you are and why you think you should win a free degree at Birmingham City University. 

You can sign up for notifications at the bottom of the page or check back in January to see when the form goes live.   

Meet our latest Scholarship winner, Safa

Our latest winner Safa Bibi from Small Heath has started studying computer science at Birmingham City University as of September 2024. Safa became interested in the computing industry while at Secondary school and further developed it through watching speeches made by women in STEM. 

As a result of our scholarship, Safa is able to further pursue her passion for computing and she hopes to be an inspiration for others and encourage them to follow their passion regardless of their religion or race.   

Millennium Point’s 2024 Scholarship application is now open. For more information on how to apply or get involved in the Scholarship program please visit www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/scholarship.

 

 

At Millennium Point, giving back to the community is massively important to us, which is why we have our Millennium Point Charitable Trust where we invest funding to help further STEM education in the West Midlands. 

This blog will explore how we’ve helped people and schools around the West Midlands gain better STEM opportunities. 

Millennium Point’s charitable mission

Our mission is to advance education for public benefit. We have a special emphasis on, but not limited to, the industrial and technological processes that have not only shaped the modern world but will also play a pivotal role in shaping the future.

Flagship initiatives 

We have three exciting flagship initiatives built for improving educational opportunities. These include:

Grant funding 

This provides funding for not-for-profit organisations, schools and colleges across the West Midlands Combined Authority area. Applicants can apply for up to £20,000 to fund a STEM-related project, as long as it meets eligibility requirements. Their idea will also need to showcase the measurable impact it will have on STEM education and/or a STEM career choice. 

We have awarded over £2,100,706 to charities, not-for-profit (NFPO’s) organisations, community groups and schools over the last 5 years. 

To learn more about how our grant funding works, take a look at our page.  

The scholarship programme

We’ve partnered with Birmingham City University to provide a fully funded undergraduate degree at their Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment.

Applications are currently closed for 2023, but you can keep an eye out for next year’s applications opening here.

The STEM Roundtable 

The STEM Roundtable brings together leaders from STEM industries, primary and secondary schools, further education, higher education and NFPO’s in STEM sectors. 

The Roundtable aims to:

Key objectives 

We have a few key objectives we’re aiming to meet, as we support others in their STEM journey. These goals include:

Case studies 

Over the years we’ve supported many schools and organisations in the West Midlands, as well as those looking to pursue a career in STEM. So here are a few examples of people and organisations we’ve helped.

St Edmund’s Campion RC School

We’ve worked with St Edmund’s Campion RC School to create a STEM club that provides chances for children to explore topics that aren’t in the curriculum and work on large-scale projects.

This has been introduced, due to the school having a high level of disadvantaged students and many of them feeling as though an academic future and/or STEM career is out of their reach.

The school received the grant as it was important that their afterschool program delivered excellent quality lessons and gave children the opportunity to learn about STEM subjects just like other children do. 

You can learn more about how we helped the school on our website.

Aston Villa Foundation – STEM Stars

The Aston Villa Foundation’s mission is to work together to enrich lives, which is why they deliver Aston Villa Football Club’s community and social responsibility work. 

STEM Stars developed a new STEM programme for six schools within a three-mile radius of Villa Park. The grant funding will purchase a Sphero robot package (this includes robots and a small pitch) which will use football to get children engaged in coding. 

Due to the area around Villa Park being highly deprived in terms of income and education, it was important that the grant went to something helping to give children better opportunities within the STEM industry, in this case focusing on coding. 

You can learn more about STEM Stars here.

Safa Bibi secures scholarship glory  

Last year our winner, Safa Bibi, used the scholarship to undertake a degree in computer science at Birmingham City University. 

Safa is the ninth winner of the scholarship, meaning we’ve already funded eight fantastic winners in their STEM career.  

If you’re interested in learning more about how the scholarship works and how you can apply, take a look at our scholarship page. 

We’ve been giving back to the community for the past 20 years and would love for you to get involved. If you’re interested, get in touch with us today!

Background

Lyng Primary School’s vision is to provide a nurturing, happy, and safe environment. Surrounded by caring adults, pupils are provided with opportunities to become the best they can be. The school strive to ensure that every pupil leaves feeling confident, self-motivated, and independent so that they are ready for the next stage in their lives.

Aim of the project

Lyng Primary School’s aim was to engage all pupils in STEM by encouraging them to become ‘Lyng Architects’. They were given a design brief asking them to design and build their perfect Lyng community. The brief included a strong enthesis on being eco-friendly, promoting rewilding, and sustainability. The pupils responded with innovative designs for the community.

The designs and creations were achieved by using CAD software. The work was then 3D-printed to display in the school foyer alongside handmade examples. The project was also supported by parents who came in to help their children build their designs.

The Millennium Point Trust Grant provided the grant that allowed the school to purchase 3D printers, laptops and resources to make the project happen.

What impact has it made?

Over 500 students benefited from the Millennium Point Trust Grant. It has provided staff with amazing opportunities to plan and deliver an exciting STEM project for their class. Over 95% of students never have had the opportunity to use 3D printers or CAD software before. The grant allowed them to learn about career options that may not have been accessible to them prior.

Parents who got involved in the project had high praises for the project, one parent said ‘kids get more fun by seeing their parents working with them inside school, sitting with them together’. Another said ‘it was nice to be invited into school and involved with my child’s afternoon, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you.’

Governors were also invited to the ‘Inspire’ afternoons, one comment received mentioned ‘I really enjoyed the afternoon, it’s always great to come in and get involved with what they are working on. I thought the project was brilliant and the children had so many great ideas, I think there might be some budding engineers amongst them and clearly some pupils are cut out to be supervisors! It was great to see them all working together and making their ideas come to life. Really great event, would love to see more of these.’

Get involved with Millennium Point Trust

Our multi-award-winning charitable trust invests more than £3m each year towards furthering STEM education within the West Midlands.

Over the years we have provided funding to Scholarships, Grants, and projects that benefit the region. Find out more about our Trust and see how you can get involved here.

Building on the success of last year’s SciSPORT event, which saw 1,000 visitors visit Millennium Point. We are excited to announce our next event in our SciSERIES, SciMED!

Last year we welcomed students from 28 schools across the region to participate in a range of thrilling activities, workshops, and talks delivered by organisations and personalities from the world of science and sport.

To get an idea what’s in store, watch below how the SciSPORT went –

This event is open to upper primary (years 5 & 6) and lower secondary (years 7 & 8) school students. To confirm your place, email our friendly Trust team scimedshowcaseevent@millenniumpoint.org.uk.

SciMED – showcasing the importance of STEM in the medical industry

The SciMED event that takes place Monday 10th July, seeks to inspire the next generation of STEM students with all things ‘medical’ – from the traditional careers such as doctors, veterinary, and dentistry, through to wider STEM related sectors such as psychology, health, wellbeing, and pharmaceuticals, whilst showcasing technology and engineering advances in all associated sectors.

Students will be able to explore:

– Interactive workshops

– Sports and fitness

– Medical activities

The day also includes visits to the award winning ThinkTank Science Museum!

Sign up to book your school’s place today and discover all things STEM and Medical.

Get your company involved

There is still time to get involved with SciMED with your team. Promote your company and showcase your innovations to young people from schools across the region. With lots of exciting exhibitions already joining us, now is the time to book your place to ensure you get the chance to connect with the future of your industry.

This is just one of the ways we’re supporting STEM in the region

Our multi-award-winning charitable trust invests more than £3m each year towards furthering STEM education within the West Midlands.

Over the years we have provided funding to Scholarships, Grants and projects that benefit the region. Find out more about our Trust in our brochure here.

Background

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is an award-winning community centre based in Smethwick, an area in the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell in the West Midlands. They provide a safe place of welcome and opportunity for the local and wider community.

There is a variety of groups, classes, and activities that are available at the centre which all aim to help tackle local issues.

Aim of the project

The Centre had the aim to deliver eight science shows, during the school holidays over a twelve-month period and engage an audience who would not normally participate in learning in environments like this. The three-hour long sessions were themed around seasonal times of the year. They were led by science communicators from award-winning STEM organisation Femtinos.

Continuing, the aim with the project was to also raise the profile of STEM skills and careers. Dorothy Parkes thought that the members of the local community did not know the value of STEM and how it was linked to a diverse range of careers.

What impact has it made?

A £20,000 grant was awarded to Dorothy Parkes Centre. The project was popular in the area with a range of events happening throughout the year. Halloween, Easter & Commonwealth were all fun and interesting themes to engage the young community. Each session welcomed 50 young people and 50 parents to take part.

To build on the grants legacy, sessions were filmed and then uploaded to YouTube for wider audiences to view and the accessibility to do it from home.

‘We are delighted to have had the opportunity to run this project for the last twelve months. The quality of the shows and the feedback received was fantastic and it will be missed. A lot of families commented on what a great offer it was during the school holidays and the fact it was educational helped the children and even some of the parents.’

Why did they receive the grant?

The centre wanted the local community to view the centre as a one stop hub for the community. STEM was completely missing from the schedule and they hope they can continue the sessions for the wider community.

The project application was all about the advancement of STEM and education for the public benefit within the Smethwick area of Sandwell. The Dorothy Parkes Centre wanted to address the STEM skills gap through education and re-education of STEM skills for children and parents.

Applications are now open once again for the life changing scholarship. In partnership with Birmingham City University each year Millennium Point Trust fund an undergraduate degree at BCU.

There are over 20 courses to choose from included in the scholarship.

Update: Keep an eye out for 2024’s application, opening Monday 8th January 2024. 

Hatem impressed judges last year and secured Scholarship victory

Hatem was currently studying an Extended Diploma in IT (Network and Security) at Solihull College and had ambitions to study Computer Science at university. Information of the Millennium Point Scholarship landed in Hatem’s inbox, where he knew straight away, he had nothing to lose by applying.

Scholarship

In Hatem’s application he made it clear how much winning the Scholarship would mean to him, his great passion for computers and his mission to use computing and technology to better lives. The Millennium Point Charitable Trust team were hugely impressed with Hatem’s application and selected him along with four other finalists.

All the finalises attended an assessment day at Millennium Point, where they each presented to a panel of five judges, Hatem impressed the panel the most and was selected as the lucky winner of last year’s Scholarship, which has already helped launch the careers of seven outstanding STEM students. Hatem’s degree in Computer Science at Birmingham City University (BCU) started in September 2022.

Applying is easy and simple

The competition is open to you if you are 18 by, and looking to start an undergraduate degree in September 2023 and within the West Midlands Combined Authority, who are looking to start a qualifying degree in September 2023.

Read the application form carefully and start to answer each question. Think about why you want to study your chosen degree and what you want to do in the future. Also discuss any personal attributes and skills that could help you be the next winner of the Scholarship.

Scholarship

It’s a two-stage application, with the final stage being an assessment day. If you make it to the final, you will be invited to participate in developmental workshops. These will focus on supporting our personal development and professionalism in both interview and presentation skills.

We’re here to help you every step of the way

We want everyone to have the best chance of success when applying for our Scholarship scheme, and sometimes bigging yourself up can be a little daunting. That’s why we have created a helpful guide to aid you through your application. Keep an eye out on our social media for any new blogs, videos or resources that can help further.

You can always contact our friendly Trust team for any other enquiries you may have.

Unlock your student’s future by getting your school involved

Get your school involved and spread the word about the Scholarship. Tell parents, young people, teachers, and colleagues. The bigger it gets, the more impact we can make together.

We have created a Teacher’s Portal with assets and information that can help you provide students information on how to apply.

Are you a business wanting to get involved? Visit our Business Portal here.  We’re always looking out to collaborate with businesses and professionals on the MP Trust Scholarship.

Why do we do this?

At Millennium Point we believe that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is important for the future of the region. Now, more than ever young people need our support and encouragement for them to unlock their potential. The scholarship is just one of the ways we can provide support to help them achieve people’s goals.

Apply today to start your Scholarship journey

Applications are now open with the deadline on Friday 17th March 2023, apply now and see what you can achieve!

2024 update – 2024’s applications open Monday 8th January 2024. 

Here at Millennium Point we offer grant funding to help support companies and charities improve engagement within STEM related subjects. 

Below are a few examples of Schools Millennium Point has helped through grants and funding.

Longwill School for the Deaf – Sensory STEM 

Longwill is based in Northfield, Birmingham and is a specialist school for deaf children aged between 2 and 11. The school is underpinned by a sign-bilingual philosophy that encourages the fullest possible development through early communication.

What challenge did Longwill face?

The school came to us wanting help to create ways for pupils to develop an interest and understanding in science through using speech and sign language. The small grant is being used to purchase 10 visualises and compound microscopes which are high impact learning tools. These can be used in STEM lessons to magnify flowers, leaves, skeletons or fossils onto screens to help children develop a scientific understanding.

What impact has this made?

This has given 50 children between 3 and 11 the opportunity to engage in scientific activities in ways they previously hadn’t been able to. 

The school received a small grant as they presented an outside-of-the-box approach to inspiring children with disabilities to engage with  STEM subjects.

To read more about the Longwill School for Deaf, click here.

Aston Villa Foundation – ‘STEM Stars’

The Aston Villa Foundation is a registered charity in charge of the community and social responsibility work of Aston Villa Football Club. Their mission is ‘working together to enrich lives’. They work with a variety of backgrounds in Birmingham and support Aston Villa’s wider family as well. 

What did the foundation need help with?

STEM Stars introduced a new STEM programme in six schools within a 3 mile radius of Villa Park, where funding will be used to buy a Sphero robot package to help teach young people coding through using football. 

The programme aims to encourage young people to better engage with STEM education and raise aspirational levels, as the areas around Villa Park are both educationally and income deprived. 

What impact has this made?

The STEM programme has allowed young people to engage with computer science in ways they wouldn’t previously be able to access.

The programme gained a small grant as they identified key problems in the area while providing imaginative solutions to STEM related issues. 

To read more about the Aston Villa foundation, click here.

Ahead Partnership – STEMfestWM

Ahead Partnership is a leading social enterprise aiming to connect children with employers to promote education and employability while raising awareness of STEM careers. 

The project

The project involves a week-long festival with employers and 250 students chosen from secondary schools and FE sixth forms/colleges across the West Midlands. The festival aims to enthuse young people in STEM and build a stronger talent pipeline. 

What impact has this made?

The project impacted 250 pupils, 16 schools and 2 further education colleges. Students have also developed confidence through participating in events and have developed an understanding of how their learning links to different careers. 

The partnership gained a small grant due to its extensive portfolio of successes in engaging young people in education and equipping them with the skills and links needed for the industry. 

To learn more about the Ahead Partnership, click here.

Trinity School – STEM Room

Trinity High School is a co-educational academy school for 13-18 year olds located in central Redditch.  

The challenge

Students at the school are highly interested in STEM, however the school was previously unable to provide them the resources they needed. The solution to this was to transform an old art room into a new STEM room, fitted with computers and CAD/CAM machinery to provide learning within ICT, Maths and Science.

What impact has this made?

The project has enhanced  teaching of the STEM curriculum and has allowed the school to expand their after school STEM activities. The room is also being used as a STEM learning hub for other schools, helping to expand STEM skills across the area. 

The school gained a small grant due to them demonstrating how the project would impact both the school and the wider community. 

To learn more about Trinity high school’s STEM project, click here.

King Solomon International Business School: Breaking the barriers to STEM

King Solomon International Business School is Birmingham’s first Christian free school with 1,200 students aged 4-19. 

The school aims to close the diversity gap through a fully realised STEM programme of extracurricular activities, helping encourage students to consider a STEM career path. 

How did we help to fund this programme?

Millennium Point has helped fund multiple extracurricular activities, including:

What impact did this have?

The projects aim to engage everyone in the school in STEM related activities, having a positive impact on 1,200 students between 4 and 19 years old.

The school gained a small grant as King Solomon School demonstrated a clear passion for STEM and provided a clear objective for increasing diversity in STEM. 

To learn more about the King Solomon project click here.

To learn more about how Millennium Point’s grants can help you impact STEM education, get in touch with us today.