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Business & Economy

Berwick Academy establishes new STEM Hub with support from RTC North

A new STEM Hub has been launched in Berwick to support and combat talent retention in the region.

Berwick Academy was supported by the STEM Ambassador Hub North East, part of RTC North to launch the state-of-the-art hub.

Education relationship manager, Jen Lee worked with Linda Crouch, head of science at Berwick Academy to drive forward the new hub.

Linda explains: “The STEM Ambassador Hub North East and Jen Lee in particular have been pivotal in helping to establish the Berwick STEM hub. Jen has attended our meetings, and her enthusiasm and knowledge of science have been a real driver for establishing the Berwick Hub. Jen was very helpful, making lots of suggestions about what could be included, such as free online resources and the work on Science capital to understand what helps learners choose a STEM career.

“The STEM team at RTC North are so helpful – they are really supportive, always positive and give good advice freely, which we tapped into.”

Berwick Academy is also taking part in the Regional Mentoring Programme, which is run by RTC North and funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company and in collaboration with the North East and Tees Valley LEPs.

Linda added: “We currently have ten students enrolled onto the programme. The mentors are really helping our students to think about their future, and what skills they have for the workplace. RTC North were involved in identifying the STEM ambassadors who were willing to work with us, doing the DBS checks to ensure that the mentors are suitable adults to work with children.”

Jen Lee commented: “It has been a real pleasure working with Linda and all the staff from the schools in the Berwick STEM Hub. They have all embraced and welcomed the ideas we have shared with them and taken them back to their schools.

“The Hub are using continuing professional development (CPD) to raise the science capital of the teachers to inspire and enthuse them, and they are then passing on this on to their students, which is amazing and exactly what we are striving for.

“Schools in the area are also making of our STEM Ambassador network effectively, bringing STEM professionals in to inspire the younger generation.”

The Academy is currently working with Berwick Museum and Art Gallery to popularise the newly established STEM Hub.