Our CEO Abbie Vlahakis and members of the Millennium Point Charitable Trust were invited to King Solomon International Business School to unveil a plaque commemorating our support for their eco-friendly STEM garden.
The “Breaking The Barriers To Stem” project is a great example of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education projects we fund in the West Midlands region. It was great to catch up with staff and pupils at King Solomon, seeing the positive impact the project has had.
(Pupils from King Solomon International Business School holding the plaque, with Abbie Vlahakis, Millennium Point CEO and Jean McLeod, Head of PSP.)
Who’s running the project?
The project is managed by a parent’s voluntary organisation in partnership with King Solomon International Business School – Birmingham’s first all-through (4-19) Christian free school, which specialises in international business and entrepreneurship. The Parent School Partnership (PSP) was established in 2015 by parents of pupils who attend the school. To this end, PSP activities have been by donation of time, gifts and resources from willing parents and community partners – and now Millennium Point.
What’s it all about?
An inner-city school in Birmingham with a high proportion of BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities) pupils, its ambition at the start of the project, was to ‘break barriers’ and increase STEM engagement across the entire pupil population, whatever their gender or ethnicity, through a series of onsite activities, workshops, clubs, as well as STEM-related off-site trips. For a lot of children at the school, this will be their only chance to experience this kind of specialist learning in addition to the national curriculum and the aim is for them to be immersed into the world of STEM; give them opportunities that they otherwise would not have to boost STEM participation and be excited about the possibilities of careers in STEM.
The PSP and school has identified gaps in the children’s exposure to STEM learning and wants to reach individuals from urban, challenged or hard to reach backgrounds by providing all of this free of charge to prevent barriers to their involvement.
The project includes the following:
- Code Club – an after-school club designed to immerse students in the world of code – HTML, Java, CSS etc.
- Eco-friendly sensory wildlife garden – designed to help students explore science in a practical way and learn about life cycles, growing, plants, climate, habitats, weather. The Code Club will create a QR code for the various plants and environments, which can be scanned to get the information about the optimum climate for growth etc.
- Equipment – for a variety of science and maths experiments, including one which will measure the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels in classrooms and outside areas.
- Excursions – a range of STEM-related school trips, including Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust; Planetarium at Thinktank; Jaguar Land Rover Wolverhampton; Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
What impact has the project made?
The project has been a breath of fresh air to the school, offering opportunities within STEM, that without the funding, would not of been possible. The garden has helped pupils explore science in a fun engaging way, developing their education around life cycles, growing plants, climate effects, habitats and weather.
It was also fantastic to hear the positive impact the “Code Club” has had on the pupils. Pupils have been immerged in the world of code, with top technical practices such as HTML, Java and CSS being learned at the school.
These skills go a long way in providing the pupils a brilliant opportunity to kickstart their career within STEM.
How the Millennium Point Charitable Trust can help you
The Millennium Point Charitable Trust is committed to supporting the growth of STEM education in the West Midlands region, through funding, resources, projects and events.
Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 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.