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Launching soon: science and engineering after-school clubs with Cadent Foundation

We’d like to share some very exciting news today. It is our delight to be able to announce that City Year UK has been awarded a grant of £100,000, from the Cadent Foundation! This generous grant will help disadvantaged young people reach their full potential in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), through a programme of fun, hands-on after-school activities. Read on to find out exactly what’s happening…

This funding will be used to deliver CASE Clubs (Cadent Foundation After-School Science & Engineering) in schools across North London, West Midlands and the North West.  By experimenting through engineering, the CASE Clubs will bring STEM to life for pupils in accessible and exciting ways. The activities will be largely led by the pupils themselves, and will use problem-solving-based learning to explore exciting themes such as sustainability, carbon neutrality and climate change.

The Cadent Foundation is funded by local gas network Cadent, and has been established to support projects large and small that help people living in vulnerable situations and energy poor communities. These projects protect and preserve the natural environment, and support in creating a sustainable energy future for all.

Over the course of a year, CASE Clubs will provide vulnerable children with the support and learning to help them achieve curriculum attainment levels in those critical transitional years between primary and secondary school. As well as improving academic performance, the clubs will help children develop essential life skills such as problem solving, self-confidence, positive decision-making, teamwork and communication.

The sessions are run by our City Year Mentors (who are aged 18-25 years) and employees from Cadent Gas who will also support them as STEM role models to help bring to life careers in engineering.  At the end, each student will gain a British Science Association CREST Award, a nationally recognised scheme for student-led projects in STEM subjects.

Kevin Munday, our Chief Executive Officer, says, “We’re extremely grateful to the Cadent Foundation for this funding which is going to help us tackle educational inequality and engage more children in creative STEM learning activities. Around 30% of children are growing up in poverty in the UK and too often, their prospects are linked to how much their family earns. By age 11, less than half of pupils entitled to free school meals reach the standards expected in reading, writing and maths. Children who participate in extracurricular activities perform better in school, build confidence and gain social skills, however children from deprived communities are three times less likely to participate in extracurricular activities compared to their wealthier peers.

“Our year-long programme enables inspirational young people to volunteer full-time in schools in some of our most disadvantaged communities. Our mentors not only acquire real-world experience working in schools as well as valuable personal and professional skills through provided training, but they coach and inspire pupils and give much needed extra help to those who need it the most. We see that by helping pupils realise their potential, our City Year Mentors also unlock their own.”

Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, explains that it is important to invest in STEM education. She says, “We are delighted to be able to support City Year with this exciting new project.  As technologies continue to develop and create innovative job opportunities, we need to prepare to meet those needs. By investing in STEM education and exposing students to hands-on STEM experiences we will ensure that they have the skill sets needed to build the strong and sustainable communities of the future.”

Julia continues, “Through the CASE Clubs young people will have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, gain valuable insights into STEM careers and be better equipped to access opportunities to become the next generation of scientists, computer programmers, technicians and engineers.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Cadent Foundation for this amazing opportunity, and we will keep you all updated on the developments of the clubs and their activities – we’re very eager to get started!

If you would like to learn more about the Cadent Foundation, visit www.cadentfoundation.com.

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