‘Inspiring’ STEMFest Net Zero connects 3,000 young people with North East STEM sector opportunities

Thousands of primary and secondary schoolchildren have the tools to lead a sustainable future following a three-day event for the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Thousands of primary and secondary schoolchildren have the tools to lead a sustainable future following a three-day event for the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The inspirational STEMFest Net Zero education exhibition welcomed more than 3,000 young people to St. James’ Park as a flagship event for Newcastle United Foundation’s NU Futures programme.

Through five themed zones, more than 50 North East organisations leading the way in sustainability provided interactive opportunities for nine to 13-year-olds to learn more about climate adaptation, business and industry, buildings and construction, transport, and power and natural resources.

The major education showcase highlights the region’s response to climate change and plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible with the next generation playing an integral role in protecting the planet for the future.

Dawn Barber, Business Network Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “STEMFest Net Zero has been an important introduction for thousands of young people to connect with career opportunities in the future based here in the North East.

“As a Foundation, we are committed to providing life-changing opportunities for young people through programmes like NU Futures which is set to support 12,000 children, teenagers and young adults over the next decade to help connect them with their future careers.

“Using fun and interactive tasks to engage young minds, STEM sector organisations from across the region have helped us create an inspiring environment, encouraging our young guests to look towards the future where STEM plays a huge part in the way our world moves forward.”

She added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to every single business which has shown their shared commitment to improving the lives of the next generation at STEMFest Net Zero and we look forward to hosting many more educational events together soon.”

North East primary and secondary school pupils engaged in various challenges and educational activities during the three-day event, including robot programming, small science experiments, 3D printing, virtual reality challenges and more.

All organisations involved played their part in making the event net zero by reusing existing materials, minimising their carbon footprint by travelling on public transport and only providing sustainable items to take away from the event, including plants and trees.

Sponsored by Sage, a leader in account, financial, HR and payroll for small and mid-sized businesses, STEMFest Net Zero has been coordinated by the North East STEM Hub and RTC North in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation’s innovative NU Futures programme and the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

The Foundation recently announced Sage as its official Technology Partner as part of a multi-year agreement to transform and empower young people’s perspectives on their future from the charity’s new home – NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society.

Paul Struthers, MD UKI, Sage, said: “We want to empower young people to discover a world of career opportunities and enable them to get first-hand experience of what a job in STEM could look like. We believe this will drive interest in more engineering and technology-based careers in the younger generation and help to bridge the region’s skills gap.”

Schools, employers and training partners across the region are invited to get involved with the NU Futures programme to expand opportunities for young people in the North East. For more information, email gavin.ferry@nufc.co.uk

For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.

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