London Mayor targets rise in STEM subject uptake


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has unveiled a number of new schemes to boost the uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Figures show that women make up 14% of the STEM workforce in the UK, and the schemes aim to address the imbalance by encouraging students to take up science and coding.

The Institute of Imagination and the LEGO Group will work with the major to launch RE:CODE London, which will provide students with robotics and coding based challenges to solve real-world problems.

In order to celebrate the launch, RE:CODE held a London event, which was attended by 450 primary-school pupils, to code a robot that can help remove rubbish from the River Thames.

More events are planned for throughout the school year and are aimed at pupils in years five and six who are a part of the Mayor’s free London Curriculum programme.

The Mayor also unveiled the London Scientist scheme, which aims to encourage young engineers and scientists by challenging them to develop solutions to some of the biggest issues facing the capital, such as air pollution.

As the first of its kind in the UK, the new programme will provide funding for up to 5,000 pupils who are without the best facilities within the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sector, so they can enter projects for the national CREST Award – a top science award for students.

Mr Khan, said: “I want every aspiring young scientist, engineer, computer coder and mathematician to be able to fulfil their potential and have the knowledge and skills they need to enter the workplace in the future.”

The Mayor’s London Curriculum programme is also set to offer teachers a range of STEM resources to help deliver the subjects in schools.

Each resource covers topics, such as London’s air or the bridges that cross the River Thames, to make learning interesting and fun.