The Children Challenging Industry Programme celebrates 25 years of working with industry in the UK

In a corner of North Hertfordshire an exciting STEM programme, Children Challenging Industry, is helping older primary age children ( Upper Key Stage 2)  to become immersed in local industry and find out more about how the science they study at school is used within the manufacturing processes of local industry at Johnson Matthey and Sartorius Stedim, Royston.

Centre for Industry Education Collaboration logo

Run by the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration at The University of York, the CCI Project is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year.

Local companies are invited to a virtual event to mark 25 years of Children Challenging Industry featuring East of England schools and company partners. It takes place on Tuesday 13 July 2021 (10.45am to 11.45am).

Participation in a STEM programme such as Children Challenging Industry really does raise pupils' science capital on a number of fronts, improving children’s knowledge and understanding of science, boosting positivity in attitudes towards careers in industry and increasing knowledge about the transferability of science. This relationship between CCI and local industry is multifaceted, and begins with ensuring that a series of classroom-based practical problem-solving activities focus not only on the National Curriculum, but also on the scientific processes that the companies and their scientists and engineers engage in.

Everyone in the participating companies also knows in advance what the children have done in the classroom and have often had a go at this primary science themselves! A site visit (or latterly ‘virtual’ interactions) to industry is then developed, with the CCI team working collaboratively with the company on the activities the children will experience when visiting the industrial premises or when working with their ambassadors in the classroom.

From the standpoint of the companies involved, there is pleasure and surprise in helping the children to learn about science and tackling unexpected questions.

As Chris Morgan, Director at Johnson Matthey says: "Johnson Matthey has benefited from the Children Challenging Industry programme in several ways. It has strengthened our links with local primary schools, providing support at a time where we can really influence children’s views of STEM subjects and we know of local pupils who cited the programme as a reason why they have gone on to study science.

"The children, and through them their parents, gain a better understanding of what we do – we are not just an industrial site with lots of chimneys, but an organisation that develops and manufactures clean air technology which benefits the environment around the world. It has also been very enjoyable and motivating for the staff that support site and ambassador visits."

Want to know more? Please join the virtual hour-long celebration on Tuesday 13th July at 10.45 am to find out more about how your company could work with CCI in the East of England and make a real difference to children’s lives.  Register here

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