Full STEAM ahead for Milton Park’s schools programme

Nearly 1,000 local students from Didcot schools have participated in a range of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities facilitated by Milton Park, a leading science, business and technology park in Oxfordshire.

Launched in February 2023, the ‘Explore Milton Park’ programme is delivered by Ahead Partnership, market-leaders in social value solutions which connect young people to opportunities. To date, more than three quarters of students from Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus Boys’ School said the campaign has increased their understanding of STEAM sectors and the skills, qualifications and entry routes into them.

Additionally, 90% said it has helped improve their communication skills, interview techniques and ability to confidently represent themselves.

Following successful careers panels and interview practice sessions, Explore’s recent events featured two Trek Days where students visited Milton Park and the premises of various occupiers such as Tokamak EnergyVertex Pharmaceuticals and Whittard of Chelsea.Students commented that the experience left them feeling genuinely “excited about future careers in science”, with the interactive sessions providing “a deeper look into the workplace”.

Following one of the Trek Days, a parent of a young person who took part, said: “A short note of appreciation for enabling my daughter to join the Milton Park Trek. She thoroughly enjoyed the day and came home buzzing. She has been talking about it to everyone since that day.”

The programme has not only supported the students, their families and schools, it has also benefitted the Park’s volunteers. A total of 34 people from across 18 different companies at the Park have volunteered in the programme so far, with over 90% agreeing that the events have improved their understanding of young people and the best ways they can attract future talent.

All volunteers said they had gained beneficial networking opportunities and would happily take part in future Explore activities.

Jeannine Baker-Wilson, Senior Associate at Oberlanders, volunteered at one of the careers panels. She said: "I’d encourage anyone based at Milton Park to get involved in this education programme as the experiences are rewarding for you and the young people involved.

“Businesses that are committed to tackling local skills gaps in STEAM and encouraging more people to work in our sector have a golden opportunity to make an important difference through Explore Milton Park."

Anna Fletcher, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Milton Park, said: “Without the kind support from volunteers like Jeannine, much of the Explore Milton Park programme would not have been possible. Thank you to everyone so who has so far generously dedicated their valuable time, resource and expertise to inspire the next generation of innovators.”

Further STEAM work experience and taster sessions are planned for November and December as part of the programme’s 2023 calendar of events. If you work at Milton Park and are interested in getting involved, please get in touch at explore@miltonpark.com to find out more.

To find out more about Milton Park, please visit: https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/