SM&E Week launches major STEM programme

15th May 2024
Paige West

Nineteen Group announced a full programme of STEM activities under the banner ‘Manufacturers & Engineers of the Future’ at Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week on 6th June at Birmingham’s NEC.

The event welcomes students and apprentices into its halls on the afternoon of 6th June, starting with several keynote education sessions. The first session, taking place in the Design & Innovation Theatre at 1.30pm, features a presentation from EngineeringUK, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is “to enable more young people from all backgrounds to be inspired, informed and progress into engineering.” The second session, at 2pm in the same venue, will feature Richard Noble OBE discussing how Bloodhound’s education mission is “to inspire a generation to become engaged with STEM and explore careers related to it.”

Speaking about the programme, Grace Gilling, Managing Director of The Manufacturer, said: “Our dedicated STEM afternoon enables students and apprentices, who are about to take the first steps of their careers, to engage with the rapidly evolving world of manufacturing and engineering and to make connections with businesses of all sizes that will be their future employers. Plus, from the employer's perspective, it enables them to meet with the talented people they need in the future.”

A wide range of STEM-focused activities will take place at Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week. In Hall 5, Stand G11, JJA Snack will invite visitors on an exciting chocolate-making journey. This hands-on experience offers insight into engineering principles and makes learning not only worthwhile but also delicious. JJA Snack’s approach equips students with skills and knowledge that align with the evolving needs of the industry. Also in Hall 5, WorldSkills UK, working with FANUC, will host the qualifiers for the 2024 Industrial Robotics competition. Visitors are invited to watch the teams of 16–20-year-olds complete their robotic tasks against the clock.

In Hall 4, Stand A116, Lisl Aerospace will showcase various roles and positions within a manufacturing business, from software engineering to quality control to research and development. Interested visitors will also be able to get one-on-one guidance with interviews or apprenticeship applications. Similarly, Make UK, an organisation at the forefront of delivering world-class engineering apprenticeships and skills training, will be in Hall 4, Stand L21, advising young people about apprenticeships. More support will be available from the STEMETTES, an award-winning social enterprise working to support girls, young women, and non-binary young people into STEM careers.

Young people will also have a large representation in the exhibition itself. Coventry University, for example, will have their degree apprenticeship team, student recruitment team, and current students available to chat. They will exhibit with a theme of AI and future transport engineering. Exhibits will include the award-winning IMechE Formula AI Car and Formula Student cars developed and raced by a multidisciplinary team of motorsport, electrical, and electronic student engineers. Additionally, the stand will feature unmanned aerial vehicles designed and flown by aerospace students in national and international competitions. State-of-the-art technologies on display will include a Hexicopter and an AI Robot Dog.

To guide STEM-focused visitors around Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week, the STEM visitor trail will help navigate between the most relevant exhibition stands, Solutions Theatres, and networking opportunities. The visitor trail can be accessed using a printed map or by using a QR code when entering the exhibition hall.

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