Why we need Ignition*
There's a crisis in STEM subjects. Many young people regard science, technology, engineering and maths as difficult and less attractive for further study and possible careers than the more creative and more interesting opportunities available through arts, creative media and humanities subjects. Most school students drop STEM at the earliest opportunity and only take combined science subjects at GCSE.
STEM subjects are frequently regarded as:
- more suitable for boys
- only for academic high fliers - boffins
- only rewarding in the long term (involving long periods of research)
To counter these perceptions Ignition* will develop strands of programme activity to encourage young people to think of STEM subjects as creative:
- STEM subjects are essentially creative subjects (in the same way that dance, music, art, drama are creative), and are about our lives and society (in the same way that humanities are).
- Most of the solutions to the challenges of the future, such as global warming, new communications and transport, will be found in STEM subjects, and to discover and develop these solutions will require imagination, creativity, innovation, ingenuity and invention.
- The study of STEM subjects requires the engagement of creative thinking skills such as resilience, inventiveness, reflection, seeing and making connections, and risk taking, because they are based in inquiry, experiment and action research, drawing on powers of imagination, speculation, observation and analysis.
Our aim in Ignition* is to raise awareness that:
- Further study of STEM subjects and STEM related careers can be rewarding (both financially and in terms of personal/aspirational satisfaction) and can lead to positions of leadership and influence.
- STEM study and careers can be conducted in a wide range of sectors and contexts including internationally, and the rewards for high achievement in STEM subjects can include public recognition, returns for intellectual property and international regard
- There are six integrated but distinct programmes in Ignition* all designed to inspire the next generation of creative scientists, inventors and innovators.
Ignition* is a programme delivered by Ignite! in collaboration with Creative Partnerships and funded by emda. It is part of a concerted investment by the regional development agency to support the promotion and development of STEM under the banner of the East Midlands STEM Partnership.