Building on the success of our SciSeries events which saw 2,000 students visit Millennium Point. We are excited to announce our next event – the SciTECH Showcase on 10th June!

Last year, we welcomed students from over 20 schools across the region to SciMED where they participated in a range of thrilling activities, workshops, and talks delivered by organisations and personalities from the world of STEM and medicine.

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

The SciTECH Showcase is open to upper primary (years 5 and 6) and lower secondary (years 7 and 8). To confirm your place book here – www.elevationx.uk/scitech-event

SciTECH – Showcasing the importance of STEM in the Technology industry

The SciTECH event that takes place Monday 10th June 2024, seeks to inspire the next generation of STEM students with all things technology – from the traditional careers of Programmers, Analysts and Designers, through to the wider STEM related sectors such as IT Service Management, App Developers and Business Analysts, whilst showcasing technology and engineering advances in all associated sectors.

Students will be able to explore:

– Interactive workshops

– Digital activities

– Technological advancements

Sign up to book your school’s place and discover all things STEM and Tech!

Get your company involved

There is still time for your team to get involved with SciMED. Promote your company and showcase your innovations to young people from schools across the region. With lots of exciting organisations 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. Email our event partners Elevation X to secure your spot – hello@elevationx.uk or call 07379769722.

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

Our multi-award-winning Charitable Trust invests more than £4.5m 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 our more about our Trust and how we can work together for a better future.

Encouraging STEM education as a part of early learning is an important stepping stone in helping children build a career path in STEM. STEM subjects help contribute toward innovation, creativity and improved quality of life. That’s why we here at Millennium Point are working hard to create opportunities that encourage the younger generation to get into the industry. Our STEM grant and scholarship help students and not-for-profit organisations bring projects to life and study university courses that truly boost their experiences within STEM. 

What is STEM? 

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and is a combined approach where all subjects are taught together and not separately. This helps equip students with the right skills to undertake a career within the industry. 

Creating equal opportunities in STEM

Despite STEM subjects being prominent in a range of industries, a lot of them are unfortunately lacking a female presence. For example, only 25% of computing jobs and 15% of technology jobs are occupied by women. 

To truly achieve successful benefits for society a diverse workforce should be created within the STEM industry. Currently, only 28% of the workforce is formed of women. Some factors causing the gender gap in STEM include:

How can the gender gap be closed in the STEM industry?

It’s important that the gender gap is closed within STEM industries, especially within business, culture, government and legislation. Welcoming all genders and cultures within the industry will bring diverse experiences and help further innovation and creativity. 

The following steps can help close the gender gap in STEM:

Prioritising attracting and retaining women 

By attracting and retaining more women, the gender gap will start to narrow. To do this, more needs to be done to shout about how great STEM subjects, jobs and sectors are. Through improving marketing and advertising and getting more people talking about the industry, STEM benefits from a well-skilled, diverse workforce. 

Break down stereotypes

Unfortunately, there are still lots of stereotypes surrounding women’s intellect and STEM being a male industry. As a result, a greater effort needs to be made to break down stereotypes suggesting that STEM subjects are better suited to boys. When this is achieved, girls should feel more confident to study and undertake careers in the industry.

Improve workplace cultures

In order to encourage more women to join the workforce, businesses must improve their workplace culture. By removing gender pay gaps, hostile work environments and creating better career progression for women, the gender gap will start to close.

The benefits of STEM

STEM education has a range of benefits including:

Millennium Point’s STEM Grant 

The Millennium Point Charitable Trust provides funding annually to not-for-profit organisations, schools, and colleges across the West Midlands Combined Authority area. Applicants can apply for up to £20,000 to fund their STEM-related project subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and demonstrating a measurable impact in STEM education and / or STEM career choice. We also welcome applications for smaller grants from £1,000.

Find out more about our Grants here. 

Millennium Point’s STEM Scholarship

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

To be eligible for our STEM scholarship you will need to meet the following criteria:

Applications open Monday 8th January and can be found here. 

It’s already widely known that females are massively underrepresented in STEM education. Currently, females make up 28% of the science, engineering, technology and maths workforce. At Millennium Point Trust, we are trying to change the percentage with the help of Scholarships, Grants and projects such as SciMED.

As a charity supporting STEM education in the West Midlands, we also aim to support other organisations and shine a spotlight on their work to further promote the importance of STEM.

Below, provided by Twinkl, we see 4 inspiring women in STEM talk about their careers including Millennium Point CEO Abbie Vlahakis. The videos, perfect for younger audiences, educators and staff working in schools can help students learn about different career options in STEM.

Abbie Vlahakis, CEO Millennium Point

Dr Jenny Arthur, Glaciologist – Glaciologist, Dr Jenny Arthur

Dr Jenny Arthur shares her tips on scientist skills and the life of a glaciologist, studying the ice shelves of Antarctica.

Science is a wonderful way to learn about the world. But what skills do you need? Where do you get these skills and knowledge to be a scientist. Well Dr Jenny Arthur shares some very cool ways she uses her scientist skills in Glaciology.

Dr Felicity McDowall, Archaeologist – Archaeologist, Dr Felicity McDowall

Dr Felicity McDowall shares her story of being an archaeologist and how she uses dates and evidence to understand the past. She’s even studies people from The Stone Age.

Archaeology is Dr Felicity McDowall’s specialist subject. And she uses a lot of scientific skills as an archaeologist and anthropologist.

Clare Brown, Biologist – Biologist, Clare Brown

Start exploring science with curator, Clare Brown as she shares her story of studying biology with schools and working to preserve thousands of plants and animals at the Leeds Discovery Centre.

Imagine exploring science and seeing thousands of different animal bones and fossils? For biologist, Clare Brown, that’s her job. Everyday!

Get involved with Millennium Point

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.

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.

Background

Sandwell College is the largest provider of 16-19 year old study programmes in the West Midlands. Their mission is to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential, achieving a successful career in their chosen field.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project was to set up a 3D Immersive Learning Lab, introducing exciting, engaging and innovative STEM-related learning projects across the colleges curriculum, using emerging technologies such as virtual reality programming.

A series of workshops will be run to inspire students to become more engaged in STEM, promoting careers through virtual reality workplace tours, connecting with those who previously might not of seen STEM careers.

What impact has it made?

The project has begun with great success, giving students a fantastic insight into 3D modelling and virtual reality activities around STEM.

The college has partnered with Cadbury College in Kings Norton to use some of their facilities to host the equipment for students.

Through the use of iPads and VR, the students have taken part in a number of exciting activities to enhance their STEM learning. These include entering new worlds and visualising scientific concepts and diagrams, such as life-sized DNA structures.

They have also tested out Augmented Reality Cubes, which combined with a VR headset allows the students to hold the cube and they visualise holographic 3D models (such as engines, the human brain and CAD drawings) in the palm of their hands. As they rotate these around they can view them from all angles.

Moving forward the college are looking to attract more students to study STEM courses, using the equipment to engage them in a fun and effective way.

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.

Exhibitions are a great way to show off your products or skills, while being able to network and meet new potential clients. They’re also a great way to reach new audiences and boost sales.

Due to this we’ve put together a few tips to help you plan your next event.

How to plan an exhibition 

Art exhibitions are successful when planned carefully. This includes creating a visual plan and focusing on your marketing. When planning an exhibition you should consider:

If you’re looking to plan a trade show you want to make sure you fully promote your unique selling point (USP). When planning your show you want to think about:

Other things to consider include:

The venue 

Your venue determines the number of guests and exhibitors you can have at your event. You also want to make sure you choose a venue that reinforces the image you want to portray. 

Marketing

When planning an exhibition you need to consider how much money and effort you will need to put toward marketing. This will include marketing to exhibitors and attendees to persuade them on why they should attend/take part. 

Are you going to include any special guests?

Guest speakers are great for conducting seminars or talks . This can provide great talking points throughout the exhibition helping to boost networking and increase your clientele list. 

How are attendees going to get there?

When looking for a venue it’s important that you book somewhere that has easy access, transport links and parking. This will help increase attendee numbers as they’re more likely to attend if they can get there easily. 

Why host an exhibition in Birmingham? 

There are many benefits to hosting an exhibition in Birmingham, such as it having great access to transport links. There are many bus and train routes, as well as Birmingham airport being a short distance from the city centre for those travelling internationally. 

There’s also a wide range of hotel options to choose from to suit all budgets. This is especially useful if you have people travelling long distances.

Furthermore, Birmingham has loads of cultural spots to offer, such as museums and galleries, which is especially great if you’re holding an art exhibition as this will further emphasise the event you’re holding. 

Another great reason for holding your exhibition in Birmingham is the large number of businesses in the area. This poses great opportunities to increase attendance and further boost networking and future client opportunities.

Why choose Millennium Point to host your exhibition?

Millennium Point is situated right in the city centre of Birmingham near Moor Street and New Street station, as well as having lots of bus routes nearby. Those travelling by plane can also go straight from Birmingham International station to New Street station in just a couple of minutes, making it an ideal location to hold your next exhibition.

Hosting your exhibition at Millennium Point is also a great option as it’s close to various hotels like the Clayton Hotel, meaning attendees don’t need to travel far before and after the exhibition ends.

Millennium Point is also introducing 6 new spaces located next to the Auditorium that are perfect for training, presentation and exhibition purposes. If you’re looking for a space to hold smaller training events or presentations then our Curzon rooms 1-5 are perfect for you. However, if you’re looking for a larger space then our Curzon Suite might be a better option for you. 

Get in touch with us today to discover what room is perfect for you.

Background

Wood End Primary School aims to inspire confidence, happy, resilient learners who strive to be the best they can be through an engaging curriculum delivered in an inclusive environment.

They strive for positive partnerships between school, parents and their community and a shared understanding of their aims, being approachable, authentic, and honest.

Aim of the project

The school wanted to purchase Lego Spike Kits, with enough for a whole class  to work in pairs to create and program moving models.

They wanted a project that would help the pupils develop a love of engineering and computing, alongside an appreciation of how these skills are used in the world around them. From this the children would see the impact of STEM and the career options available to them.

What impact has it made?

The club has started with great success. The pupils have already made and controlled various  Lego  structures – such as carousels. The club also has a great intake of female pupils, who are traditionally underrepresented in the field, and are interested in learning how to code.

On some sessions, the school branched out invites to the pupils’ parents to join in.

One parent from the session said ‘STEM’s important to children’s education because it gives them a big scope of careers when they’re older’.

Their first project was how to program a space rover to move and detect an object. At the beginning, the pupils will explore the purpose of a rover looking at real life examples of Mars rover and the engineers who have created them. They then went on to build and control a rover including a motion and tilt sensor and programmed the model using coding and debugging.

After the initial project, the pupils will launch the design and make competition on how to find solutions to solve ‘real life’ problems. Along with parent workshops, they will also invite people from the industry to talk about their STEM career choice and have Q&A sessions with the pupils. Parents will also be invited to judge the winner of the competition.

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.

 

STEM education is an important part of a school’s curriculum and has a huge impact on the way that children learn and develop.

This blog will explore everything you need to know about STEM education and learning, to help raise awareness of its importance and encourage others to implement it.

What is STEM? 

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths. However, rather than teaching the subjects separately, STEM education uses a combined approach to encourage and better equip students to consider careers within the industry. 

Why is STEM important?

STEM is important in teaching children the skills that are essential to their development. 

With the constant improvements and new developments in technology, it is becoming more important for children to learn skills such as computer programming and computational thinking as well as media literacy. 

Furthermore, STEM encourages children to ask questions and solve real world problems, helping to prepare them for later education and adult life. 

Benefits of STEM

STEM education has many benefits for children, such as:

Encourages creativity

STEM education encourages creativity and innovation, allowing new technologies, solutions and ideas to emerge. 

The teaching of STEM not only helps children’s development and learning but also helps the population and planet to develop as well.

Builds resilience

The teaching of STEM allows students to experiment and experience failure. Due to this, children become resilient through learning to get back up and try again. 

Promotes teamwork

STEM education doesn’t split children apart because of their varying education levels. Instead, it encourages children of all levels to work together to learn and develop new skills, while building a community that’s willing to learn new things.

Encourages use of technology

STEM teaches the power of technology and innovation, helping children learn various technologies. This will also promote adaptability, allowing children to take on challenges head on rather than hesitating or worrying about changes.

Impacts of early STEM education

Early STEM education helps children build various important skills that they may otherwise miss if they weren’t taught it.

Benefits of early STEM education include:

Hands on experience

It would be a mistake to think that STEM education only focuses on equations and complex experiments. It also focuses on hands-on experiences, providing a gateway into subjects like maths and science. 

Early STEM teaching could include things like making paper aeroplanes or building a rocket out of recycled materials. This helps to embed creative, problem solving and ideation skills, allowing children to further develop throughout education.

Memory retention

Teaching STEM at an early age can help children improve their memory retention. STEM education has a typical retention rate of 80-90% whereas traditional education only has a 5% retention rate.

Building children’s memory retention as early as possible gives them a great headstart when it comes to learning and developing throughout their education. 

Language development 

STEM education can help children’s language development. This will help increase vocabulary and help improve children’s conversational skills, while helping them learn a new subject.

Collaborative education

Many STEM activities involve collaborative learning, encouraging children to work as a team and develop conversational and explanatory skills. 

Prepares them for higher education

All of the skills children learn in early STEM education prepares them with skills needed for higher education. 

Instilling curiosity and creativity will also encourage children to study STEM subjects in further education and develop future careers.  

How can parents implement STEM in early childhood?

STEM education can be easily implemented into a child’s daily routine. This can be done through:

How to implement STEM into the school curriculum

STEM education is essential for children’s learning and development, which is why it needs to be implemented into schools’ curriculum more often. Stem education can be taught in a variety of ways, such as:

Project based learning

This involves children working on a project for a specific period of time where they can learn new skills and apply their knowledge to solve a problem. Teachers should allow children to take full control of the project, which could involve building a model bridge or designing an app.

Inquiry based learning

Inquiry based learning encourages students to ask as many questions as they like relating to the subject they’re learning. This helps them develop critical thinking, questioning and problem solving skills.

This is another student led learning practice that involves teachers prompting reflection and curiosity.

How to engage students in STEM

Currently, STEM industries have a small number of graduates, however a lack of diversity is an even bigger issue for the industry.

So how can we engage more students in STEM to help reduce the diversity gap and increase the number of STEM graduates?

Diversity and inclusion

Research shows that after GCSEs only 35% of female students decide to carry on studying STEM subjects, with only 25% of females carrying on with it after university. 

To encourage more females to study STEM subjects we could:

To learn more about the gender gap in STEM and what can be done to help close it, read our blog.

Tips for teachers

Introducing STEM focussed lessons into the curriculum can be slightly daunting. That’s why we’ve written a few tips to help those teaching STEM lessons.

What is Millennium Point doing to support STEM education?

The STEM round table was created by The Millennium Point Charitable Trust to bring together STEM industries, primary and secondary education, further education and not-for-profits in STEM sectors. 

The working group aims:

Get in touch with our Trust Team today to see how you can get involved in supporting the growth of STEM education.

Scholarships often include interview stages to allow the scholarship body to get to know you further. Due to this, it’s important to prepare for any questions that may be asked. This will help you be as successful as possible.  

This blog will explore commonly asked interview questions and provide you with possible answers.

1. Tell us about yourself

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about you as a person, as well as allowing you to establish why you deserve the scholarship over anyone else. You can start off with general information about yourself, but should use specifics later on, such as talking about your skillset and any experience that sets you apart. 

Example answer: I’m really interested in the way in which things work, which is why I have chosen to undertake a degree in engineering. I’ve already undertaken work experience at a local car garage learning the basics of engineering, which helped me develop problem solving and organisational skills.

2. Why did you choose this scholarship? 

Your response should highlight your passion for your degree and how the scholarship will help with your future. 

Example answer: I chose this scholarship because it will help me achieve my future academic and career goals. The scholarship will support me throughout my degree enabling me to develop a career in engineering where I can focus on creating innovative solutions that will help people in the future. 

3. Why do you deserve this scholarship?

Use this as an opportunity to be honest about your intentions within your degree, scholarship and future career. This is also another chance to let the interviewer get to know you more. 

Example answer: I’m particularly interested in cyber security and with technology constantly being improved and cyber attacks being more likely, it’s urgent that new cyber crime solutions are found. This scholarship will not only help me through my university journey financially but will help me find new ways to protect people.

4. What has been your greatest achievement?

Talk about a significant achievement or project you’ve worked on and why it’s important to you.

Example answer: Last year I worked on a fundraising project that helped raise money for those affected by homelessness. This resonated with me, as I want to try and make as big of an impact as possible on people’s lives, whether this is within my degree or outside of it.

Other questions could include:

How to answer interview questions

As the saying goes, by failing to prepare you prepare to fail. Answering interview question can be fairly easy once you’ve completed the following steps:

Always practice!

Practising your interview answers can go a long way. For example, it can help you feel more confident during your interview, allowing you to make the best possible first impression. 

However, you don’t want to memorise your answers as this will feel unnatural and will appear obvious to the interviewer.

Do your research

Researching the scholarship body to understand their values and goals is extremely important as it will allow you to tailor your answers. Taking note of eligibility criteria will also allow you to highlight areas you apply to, demonstrating why you’re a great candidate.

Consider using the STAR method

Using the STAR method allows you to cover all areas, helping you give the best possible answers.

The STAR method stands for:

Millennium Point Charitable Trust’s scholarship

Our Charitable Trust has partnered with Birmingham City University to provide a fully funded undergraduate degree at their Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. 

Your scholarship application is the first point of contact you have with the scholarship body. The decision on whether you progress to the next level is solely based on your application, making it imperative that you write the best application possible. 

To help ensure success, we’ve put together 5 tips to help you write a great scholarship application.

Check you’re eligible

Before writing your application, you want to make sure you’re actually eligible, as you don’t want to waste time applying to scholarships you’re not eligible for.

Eligibility criteria will also give you an idea of the goals the scholarship is trying to meet and the value they want to provide. They also give you a good idea on whether you’re likely to receive the scholarship and what information you should include in your application.

To learn more about what you can do before writing your application, read our blog.

Write an introduction 

Including an opening paragraph in your application will allow you to showcase why you should receive the scholarship you’re applying to. 

Your introduction should include information about you, such as:

When describing yourself you should discuss your educational background and your passion behind your chosen degree. 

Outline your academic interests and academic goals

Due to scholarships being an investment in students’ futures, it is important to give the board the opportunity to understand how the scholarship will help you in the present and the future, as they like to understand the impact it will have on your goals.

Furthermore, scholarships are often awarded to financially support students through their academic journey, highlighting the need for you to demonstrate the passion you have for your degree as well as your future academic goals.

When writing your application you basically want to highlight why you should be awarded the scholarship over anyone else. Discussing what you plan to do post education can help cement your passion for your academic subject to the scholarship board, increasing your chances of being successful.

Proofread your application

It’s so important to proofread your application before your submission, whether this is completed by you, someone else or both. Getting a second pair of eyes on your application is always beneficial as it will help you pick out any mistakes or areas of improvements you can make.

This will help to strengthen your application and increase your chances of receiving the scholarship.x

Scholarship application template

[Full Name]

[Phone number] [Email address]

Dear [Scholarship review committee]

I’m applying to this scholarship because [include details about how the scholarship offering body aligns with your views and goals] [You can also talk about your current educational experience, for example are you currently studying a degree or are you planning on studying a degree in the future] 

During my education and/or work experience I gained skills such as… through undertaking tasks like… [Discuss significant academic or personal achievements that have given you skills that relate to the scholarship you’re applying to]

I have a passion for [degree name] as it has impacts on… The scholarship will help me achieve goals like… [solidify your motivations for applying and passions for your degree to] 

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Full name]

[Signature] 

Millennium Point Charitable Trust’s Scholarship

If you’re looking to study a STEM subject at university, you could benefit from our scholarship. We have partnered with Birmingham City University to offer one person a fully funded university undergraduate degree every year. 

You could be eligible if:

To find out more about our scholarship, visit our website today.