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Our Grant unlocks students imagination for Design at Sutton Coldfield School

Posted on Monday March 29, 2021

Every year, the Millennium Point Charitable Trust Small Grants programme gives out grants of up to £20,000 to support science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education projects in the West Midlands. Applications are now open for 2021.

Here is one of the many projects that the programme has funded in 2020.

Who’s running the project?
The project is run by Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School who is the third oldest school in the West Midlands and one of the leading state schools in the country, offering education to boys in year 7-11, with a co-educational sixth form. The school aims to become an educational hub offering resources to other schools and communities within the area.

What’s it all about?
The school’s new timekeeping project is aimed at Key Stage Three pupils, specifically those in year 8, with a focus on students designing and making their own working clocks, using the new laser cutter the grant will help buy.

STEM plays a massive part in the school’s culture, including a specialist STEM block that opened in 2017 and science A-Levels the most popular in terms of uptake. This latest project’s aim is to raise skill levels and give students access to areas of DT (Design Technology) they would not normally cover in lesson time. Interest and uptake in the project is expected to be high, so the school has scheduled to run the project twice during the academic year.

The funding will also allow the school to support outreach work with local primaries, which will develop Key Stage Two pupils and give them access to cutting edge technology, inspiring them to consider a future in STEM.

Who will benefit?
As many Year 8 students as possible, depending on the uptake and practicalities of the sessions and bubble timetables. The sessions will be with groups of a maximum of 20 students.

What they said:
Mrs Skye Bowen, Head of Design Technology, commented: “This is an interesting application of the capacity of the laser cutter; it gives the students a physical and working product at the end, and exposes them to CAD and CAM processes. It’s also outside of the realms of projects they might undertake within the confines of the curriculum.

“We have focused on Key Stage Three because due to curriculum restrictions our pupils do not have as much exposure to the practical elements of Design Technology as we would like. Ultimately, it’s our aim to encourage greater numbers of pupils opting for Design Technology as a GCSE subject; we then aim to put on A-level courses in the near future, to support the design and engineering careers.” 

About educational grant funding from Millennium Point
Educators, Charities and Not-for-Profits within the West Midlands Combined Authority can apply for up to £20,000 from Millennium Point to fund their STEM activity. For more information on how to access this funding please visit www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/grants


Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint. Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands.