Siemens promotes STEM subjects with free school software

Siemens PLM has launched a new scheme in Cumbria to help revitalise interest in STEM subjects and engineering as a career.

The scheme has been launched in the week that the Prince's Trust stated that poor computer skills and a lack of interest in STEM subjects could be holding young jobseekers back.

In cooperation with the Barrow Engineering Partnership (BEP) and BAE systems, Siemens' effort is also aiming to address concerns about the growing IT and manufacturing skills gap.

Siemens PLM is donating licenses for its Solid Edge CAD software to schools in the Barrow-in-Furness area, to equip students with industry standard tools for STEM subjects.

Students in teams from various schools and colleges will also be able to use the technology to participate in the current national Greenpower Challenge (which Siemens sponsors), to design and build an electric vehicle that can be used to race others.

Mike Brown, director of academic programmes at Siemens PLM, said: "Teaming up with the BEP and BAE Systems offered us a fantastic opportunity to pool our experience, expertise, resources and energy for the Greenpower Challenge. This project helps demonstrate the technical ingenuity, team elements and the buzz involved in engineering."

The Greenpower Challenge is designed to incorporate multiple areas of the national curriculum and many schools use the project as a teaching aid to illustrate key ideas and concepts.

The process also teaches young people core engineering and design skills, and builds on the idea of teamwork and problem solving with the whole group working together and accomplishing a final goal.

BAE Systems will support the project with a Greenpower team consisting of apprentices to enter the Greenpower Corporate Challenge held in the autumn at the famous Goodwood motor racing circuit.

Other corporate teams taking part include Siemens, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, and teams from SMEs.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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