Jacobs Named Inspirational STEM Employer
Creating exciting, innovative educational experiences and raising young people’s aspiration and knowledge of future STEAM career opportunities
Latest news in! Jacobs has been named STEM Learning UK's Inspirational STEM Employer, recognizing our outstanding commitment to STEM and how this is embedded within our core values and Culture of CaringSM. The STEM Inspiration Awards celebrate the individuals, organizations and clubs working to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).
Watch the Awards Ceremony here.
U.K. Research and Innovation's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “We are delighted to be supporting these Awards that celebrate the role organizations and individuals across the economy play in showcasing the variety of STEM careers and pathways to the next generation.”
“We have seen the power that STEM has demonstrated in being able to address the huge problems that we have faced in our society and across the world in recent times. Bringing together the necessary skills and expertise has been crucial and that is why it is so important that the STEM community is as diverse, creative and dynamic as possible. Our personal thanks to the organizations and individuals who play an important role to support this.”
“Jacobs is honored to receive this recognition and proud of the U.K. team’s efforts to create 15,000 hours of virtual online learning opportunities for young people last year,” says Jacobs’ People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President for Europe and Digital Strategies and Honorary STEM Ambassador Donald Morrison. “STEAM is at the epicenter of developing the future skills that economies need to address complex issues such as climate change threats, resilient cities and communities, and natural-resource stresses. By investing in future generations at an early age, we accelerate that transformation. We inspire them to do things better by sharing real-world contexts and raising young people’s aspiration and knowledge of future STEAM careers.”
Speaking at the virtual STEM Inspiration Awards, Jacobs' STEAM Lead for Europe Kara Connon explains: “Since COVID-19 began last year, a small core U.K. team worked with our wider STEAM Ambassador network to develop and deliver a set of virtual initiatives to support the parents and students of Jacobs and our partner schools. We gained feedback from teachers on what they needed from Jacobs and from there we created a set of virtual STEAM initiatives that over 500 school students have now taken part in.
“We set up a tutoring service to support all school subjects, not just STEAM. We presented weekly live streaming workshops and we are in the process of recording video experiments and creating a globally accessible virtual careers fair.
“What the pandemic has taught us is that we can create incredibly beneficial educational experiences to students around the world, who we would not normally be able to reach for geographical reasons.
"Also, a huge congratulations to Jacobs’ Jason Andrews and Bobby Dias, who designed the new work experience program,” adds Kara.
Jacobs’ Head of Data Science, Jason Andrews and Structural Technician, Bobby Dias, were highly commended in the category, ‘Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM’ for designing Jacobs’ U.K. work experience program as part of the wider STEM virtual initiatives.
Sponsored by U.K. Research and Innovation, the awards recognize the initiatives which make a real impact, sparking an enthusiasm for STEAM subjects and paving the way for careers in these fields.
Supporting ENTHUSE Partnerships
Jacobs is supporting students to go ‘beyond the classroom’ with our three Enthuse partnerships in Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol, taking STEAM out of school and bringing it to life to show real world applications. These partnerships form part of our wider STEAM engagement program in the U.K. and provide great structure to develop ideas and programs for a consistent delivery of a high-quality educational experience. The partnerships also allow us to showcase what Jacobs can offer them, building initiatives around the needs of the staff and students.
As part of the award, Jacobs was able to nominate a school to receive prize money. We chose Trinity High School in Manchester, having worked closely with the school and also recently recruited a former student as an apprentice through our work experience.
The partly digital nature of ENTHUSE enables us to get more people involved from across Jacobs to deliver a more diverse STEAM program through the partnerships.
Working with our JENs
Around the world, each of our Jacobs Employee Networks (JENs) champion a specific group within the company (LGBTI+, Latinx, black, disabled, female, veteran, professional development and global multiculturalism) and support a strong culture of partnership and cross-collaboration. We work with our JENs to incorporate STEAM and a positive growth mindset into all areas of society through ambassadors of similar backgrounds who understand the challenges the various groups face.
“This gives Jacobs a unique style of STEAM engagement,” says Kara. “Our ‘bring your whole self to work’ culture encourages our employees to be open and understanding of each other and not be afraid to show what is important to each individual. By having this ethos in our day-to-day business, we can extend this to the students and teachers we work with, to ensure our ambassadors have a tolerant and open-minded attitude throughout our STEAM engagement.”
In Other News:
The Big Project on Teesside
Our STEAM Ambassador Network, which includes many of our graduates and apprentices, works with schools to promote STEAM subjects through lots of initiatives. For example, we hold Cornerstone Employer status with the Careers and Enterprise Company in Birmingham, Worcester, Leeds and Tees Valley. This includes the ‘Big Project’ on Teesside, an initiative we developed with Carmel College, to promote the opportunities available to students in STEAM subjects. Students develop an idea/solution in response to a ‘big’ question, supported by Jacobs mentors and teachers from the school.
We are also now working in partnership with the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, taking ‘The Big Big Project’ out on a wider platform across the whole of the Tees Valley region via TeesValleyCareers.com, enabling more young people to engage in these events and boosting relationships between schools, students and their would-be employers.
Most recently, students in nine teams across five Tees Valley schools were given a business mentor from local businesses and challenged to find solutions to repair the planet by 2030 aligned with the aims of the global environmental Earthshot Prize. These goals include protecting and restoring nature, cleaning our air, reviving our oceans, building a waste-free world and fixing our climate.
Academy9, an Award-Winning Education Program
We are currently part of the team delivering the southern and central section of Transport Scotland's A9 dualling program, which will see the upgrade of around 80 miles of road between Perth and Inverness from single to dual carriageway. Central to the program’s legacy is Academy9, an award-winning education program developed and delivered by Jacobs, Atkins Mouchel Joint Venture, CH2M (now Jacobs) Fairhurst JV and The Knowledge Exchange Partnership for Transport Scotland which aims to deliver lasting skills, create local jobs for local people, and inspire the next generation of STEAM leaders. The initiative combines the technical expertise of industry professionals with the talents and knowledge of experienced educational professionals and teachers to create truly unique experiences for young people of all ages and abilities in schools along the A9 corridor. The education and training program also includes the goal of preparing local school students for local jobs which the Dualling program will create.
U.K. Research and Innovation is a non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom that directs research and innovation funding, funded through the science budget of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. For more, please visit www.ukri.org