STEM Careers Assembly
Boosting students’ knowledge of STEM careers and local companies
Our STEM careers assemblies are a great way to get your students to think about where a career in STEM can lead to, as we showcase case studies, routes into careers and local employers for a particular STEM sector.
The assembly can be delivered in person, remotely, or you can request a pre-recorded version.
Information on this page enhances the in-school delivery experience, as we are able to curate and signpost additional materials for you and your students to explore.
In a post pandemic world where everyone is finding ways to adapt to climate change, we focus our STEM assembly on the energy sector. In particular we explore how across the North East there are projects and companies working towards harvesting energy from renewable resources.
At NUSTEM we say often say that STEM (Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics) help us find solutions to global issues such as those mentioned below:
Terms such as energy crisis, global warming, net zero, carbon capture are becoming more familiar to us and often seen in the media. All of these terms are linked with climate change. The fact of the matter is that humans and their activities are influencing the climate patterns of our planet. For example is well documented that in the past years the average temperature of the planet has risen. We have seen glaciers retreating and the sea level rising.
On way to adapt to climate change is to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by develop further technologies that will help us use renewable energy resources more efficiently.
The good news is that there is plenty of energy available from renewable sources. According to the National Geography, one hour of sunlight received by the Earth’s atmosphere could generate enough electricity to meet demands for everyone in our planet for an entire year!
According to the North East Energy Catalyst, a partnership which brings together amongst others, local companies and educational institutions, the North East is at the forefront of tackling the current energy challenges, especially in areas such as off-shore wind, geothermal and electrification.
Here is a video which summarises their vision.
It is estimated that by 2025 there will be 9000 jobs in the Northeast linked with off-shore wind technologies and by 2050 the UK could generate 35 000 jobs linked with geo-thermal energy.
Below you can find some of the North East Companies that are part of the energy sector. Some of the links direct you to the company’s careers page, so that you get an idea of the type of jobs being advertised.
Power roll is a company based in Durham which is on mission to produce affordable solar panels which one day might cover many different types of surfaces. What makes the company so unique is the fact that they manufacture flexible solar panels in a roll.
Here is a video explaining how their solar panels work:
To be able to operate the company hire amongst others :
If you think a job in the energy sector could be a possibility, you might want to consider tailor your education towards this sector. As mentioned by Invest North East there are plenty of options. For example:
NE Universities (Northumbria, Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Teeside):
As mentioned above, research is fundamental to help us develop technologies for greener, cleaner and affordable energy. With this in mind 3 of our local universities (Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham) are collaborating with local companies to increase the number of graduate people working in the energy sector.
At northumbria for example our researchers are working on on 3 different strands of technology:
You find out more about what the current research at Northumbria is by watching the video below.
For a pre-recorded version of this assembly
As of August 2022 there are around 692 000 people in the UK currently doing an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are a great way to get hands-on experience of a job, to get paid and to work towards a formal qualification.
Many of these apprenticeships will be in areas related with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In countries such the UK there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fill in all the STEM job vacancies and more and more employers are investing in recruiting apprentices.
For example, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has reported that 1 in 2 engineering companies find it hard to recruit the right people with the right skills and 1 in 4 engineering companies are recruiting apprentices and graduates and train them. Given that there are over 3500 engineering companies in the North East of England, there are plenty of opportunities for engineering apprenticeships alone.
Many of top employers in our region run apprenticeship schemes. We have put together a list of who they are and where to find further information about the apprenticeships they offer (just click on their names and you should be redirected to the relevant website)
You can also find more about apprenticeship in the NHS and Network rail by watching the videos below
The list goes on and its impossible for us to signpost you to every single opportunity. That said there are a few useful websites to look into:
If you are a teacher or part of a careers team in school, please get in touch with us and we will signpost you to a recorded 15 min assembly on this topic.
For this year’s assembly we are looking at initiatives that local companies in the North of East of England are taken to embrace the Circular Economy.
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, humans have adopted a Linear Economy approach, where we take, we make and we dispose of products. This heavily relies on using finite resources of our planet and will become unsustainable!
There comes the Circular Economy approach which is being embraced by many local companies. Under the Circular Economy approach we still make, use and dispose of products, however we boost recycling of materials, promote sustainability and look into creative strategies to extend the lifecycle of products.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation have great resources around the topic including the video below:
Circular is a website with plenty on news on sustainability and Circular Economy which you can access free of charge.
More and more local companies are embracing circular economy initiatives. For example P&G has team up with Prozomix and researchers from Northumbria University and Newcastle university for the ACE project aiming to make “doing laundry” a more sustainable process.
Another local example of circular economy solutions is Rebuyer a company that is trying to give a lease of life to old IT equipment. They refurbish old IT equipment , sell it and share the profits with the companies the equipment came from.
The world has changed recently and for this year’s STEM Careers Assembly we decided to look at the Healthcare as this is one of the largest STEM sector in the UK.
All around us we got use to the word pandemic which is when an epidemic goes global. There are many jobs related with epidemics such as epidemiologists. Epidemiologists investigate how diseases are transmitted and how they effect the health in groups of people. You can find more about epidemiologists by watching Rosemund talking about her role for Doctors Without Boarders:
The largest employer in the UK healthcare sector is the NHS, which employs more than 1.5 million people across the world, making it the top five largest workforces in the world.
In the UK alone, the NHS employs 54.3 million people. There are also independent and voluntary healthcare organisations such as Bupa or the British Red Cross.
One in three people working for the NHS are neither a doctor nor a nurse. However there are over over 350 different roles associated with the NHS and the Healthcare. This means that ,if you want to work in this sector, there are a plenty of areas worth exploring such as roles in clinical support staff and scientific (non-medical) staff. You can see the breakdown of the NHS below.
Given the broad range of careers it is impossible for us to list then all here, however there are few website you can visit for further information:
You can find the majority of roles available in Healthcare across our region. Here are few people who work locally and beyond the traditional role of doctors or nurses.
The North East is served by great hospitals and is known by its pharmaceutical companies, however there are other local companies working in Healthcare.
Because the sector is so vast and there are so many roles to choose from, there are also many routes into Healthcare. Here are a few point to consider:
One final advice is to check what STEM attributes you already share with people currently working in STEM. These attributes are highly desirable by employers and you to develop them through your educational journey.
All of the information on this page is based in jobs which are currently available. However, with all the advancements STEM brings to society, you might be working on an area or job which currently doesn’t exist. Curious to find out where the future of Healthcare is? Check the video below.
For the 2019 STEM assembly, we decided to look at the video games sector in the UK. The sector is growing fast, creating lots of jobs and generating a lot of money.
It has been estimated that 2.4 billion people worldwide play games on consoles or portable devices like tablets and phones. That’s almost one in every three people on the planet. In the UK alone, in 2018, 37 million gamers spent £3.7 billion on game-related purchases.
There are so many different games being released on a weekly basis that the UK Interactive Entertainment association keeps up-to-date charts on new releases so you can find out what is out there.
The Pan-European Game Information is responsible for rating all games currently on the market, which helps young people and families make informed decisions on which computer games to buy. They have an interesting video explaining how they rate games:
Creating a video game involves a lot of people from many different background, including engineers, programmers, designers, artists and many more!
For instance, you can find out what an Artificial Intelligence Programmer and an Environment Artist do for a living in the videos below.
According to UKIE in the North East of England, we have about 58 games companies who have worked on 350 games over the past few years. Some of these are global companies such as Atomhawk (see also their careers page) and Ubisoft, with their Reflections studio based in Newcastle (see also Ubisoft careers pages).
We also have smaller companies such as Coatsink who specialise in more independent games. If you are curious to learn more about a typical at Atomhawk have a look at the video below for more information.
There are great initiatives out there to promote the Video Games Sector to as many talented young people as possible. For instance Women Making Games North East is a group of local women who get together regularly to support each other.