Delegates from across the UK headed to Millennium Point last week for the PA Forum Learning & Development Conference 2024. The multi-award-winning events venue hosted 280 business representatives for a full day of inspirational talks and sessions on 5 June.

The PA Forum curated an incredible line-up of business talent to share insights and inspire guests to transform their work in the latter half of the year. Professor Corinne Hoisington delighted delegates with an insight in harnessing the power of AI. There were tips on public speaking from inspirational speaker Nick Elston, and GuruYou founder Rebecca Mander gave valuable career coaching.

With its easily accessible location, large choice of flexible event spaces and breath-taking Auditorium, Millennium Point was the perfect setting for the conference. Guest speakers were able to make a big impression utilising the Auditorium’s giant screen – famed for being Birmingham’s biggest screen. The space also offered perfect sight lines from its 354 tiered seats alongside stunning 4k projection.

The PA Forum was able to take advantage of Millennium Point’s incredible choice of breakout spaces. Delegates enjoyed workshops surrounded by Station’s beautiful natural daylight and the Curzon Suite’s stunning views. The Express and Connect spaces offered multiple breakout spaces alongside touch-screen coffee machines offering delicious Italian-style beverages. The venue’s striking Atrium provided a stunning backdrop for speed networking. Delegates were also able to sample Millennium Point’s fantastic menu with delicious dishes being served including charcoal grilled butterfly chicken breast, Mediterranean pasta with a lemon basil dressing, and a chocolate truffle torte.

The conference also utilised Millennium Point’s unparalleled AV support with multiple cameras across the conference capturing a recording for future reference, alongside live streaming for those who couldn’t make the event in person. With in-house AV support staff, conference organisers could relax to concentrate on their event without any added technical issues.

Victoria Webb, Millennium Point Sales Manager, enjoyed hosting the event stating: “It was a pleasure to work with Daniel Skermer of the PA Forum and to helping him to realise his fantastic vision for the Learning & Development Conference 2024.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our charity’s brand-new brochure. Inside you will find information about our landmark £40 million in STEM donations and activities, and how this has benefited the West Midlands.

Be the first to read by clicking below –

Starting off with a note from our CEO, Abbie Vlahakis

‘The Millennium Point Charitable Trust prides itself on offering fantastic STEM-related initiatives, awarding more than £40 million to charities, schools, and community groups to champion science, technology, engineering, and maths projects across the West Midlands region.

Our STEM Grants scheme forms a core part of our strategy to end STEM poverty and enhance education.

In addition to this our annual Scholarship funds an undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University’.

A biplane, STEM gardens, adventures through the stars and MORE!

On average, we provide £411.3k in grants each year. To date we have provided £3.7 million in funding via grants, to over 160 groups in the region.

You can find out more information about our previous grant recipients here.

Celebrating 10 years of Scholarship success

Annually, we provide funding for a Scholarship for an undergraduate degree, in partnership with Birmingham City University. The Scholarship programme is aimed at students who are looking to start a career in the Built Environment, Computing, Digital Technology or Engineering industries.

Find out more about our previous Scholarship winners here.

Community minded, working together for the future of the West Midlands

Being an award-winning venue in the middle of Birmingham has allowed us to support the community and other charities in additional ways, including using our own building to host their events.

From STEM festivals to the STEM Roundtable, you’ll find it all in our brochure.

Support Millennium Point today!

Our mission is simple, to advance education for the public benefit. We invest more than £4.8 million each year towards furthering STEM education in the West Midlands. We’ve already funded over 100 grants projects and inspired over 3,000 people with our activities.

Learn how you can support Millennium Point on our website.

 

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.