STEM Leadership Award Supported by Caledonia Offshore Wind Farm and Ocean Winds

Caledonia Offshore Wind Farm, a proposed 2GW project in the Moray Firth, alongside its developer Ocean Winds is supporting SSERC to develop a new award for the Young STEM Leader Program (YSLP) at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 7, equivalent to Advanced Higher.

As a key strand of the Scottish Government’s Strategy for STEM Education and Training, the YSLP aims to encourage young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths by delivering exciting experiences in their school, college or community.

Exemplifying Ocean Winds’ and Caledonia’s commitment to investing in Scotland’s future workforce, this will help to meet increasing popularity, with over 12,000 young people already taking part in the program across 800 centers. This follows several calls for the development of the new Level 7 award.

This collaboration extends an existing partnership between Ocean Winds and SSERC, which has seen Caledonia and similar projects support STEM education through several programs including SusSTEMability, First Lego League, and the Techfest STEMNext essay competition.

Mark Baxter, Project Director for Caledonia Offshore Wind Farm said: “Having partnered with SSERC for STEM support over the last year we are delighted to follow their advice to assist the development and delivery of this keenly anticipated extension to the highly regarded Young STEM Leader program. We are hopeful that the students that benefit from this program will be inspired by the rapidly growing opportunities in the renewables sector in Scotland and internationally.”

Alastair MacGregor, SSERC Chief Executive, said: “This presents a unique opportunity for SSERC to nurture existing relationships with employers (including the development partner) and build on the success of our existing offers including the STEM Ambassador Program, Education Industry Partnerships and Nuffield Research Placements. As well as providing the next step for YSLs in schools and community groups, it is hoped that the award will encourage more young people in colleges to consider becoming a Young STEM Leader.”

This new award will allow Young STEM Leaders in the senior phase of secondary school, colleges and apprenticeship programs to carry out an evidence-based project spread across an academic year – representing 50-60 hours of learning. They will be expected to engage with STEM employers and institutions to ensure their project is reliable, accurate and meaningful as a research topic.

The award is currently in development and will be launched for a limited pilot starting in September 2023, with a full national launch in June 2024.

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