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Girls in STEM (4)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Jennette Arnold Jennette Arnold Labour

At our recent meeting, the Education Panel heard that interventions to improve representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) need to happen far before GCSEs, in primary school.

Panellists also raised the importance of creativity and arts in STEM subjects. How do your programmes help young Londoners to develop creative problem-solving skills?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

My Mayor’s London Scientist programme funds school students to undertake a STEM project and achieve a CREST Award. Students work in teams to identify and solve a real-life challenge in their local area. Project-based learning is a key method for developing transferrable skills such creativity, problem-solving and teamwork, and is proven to particularly benefit girls’ success and self-efficacy in STEM. So far more than 7,200 young Londoners have completed an award through the programme, of whom 50 per cent have been girls.

I run RE:CODE London programme in partnership with LEGO® Group and the Institute of Imagination. It has provided thousands of primary school children with the opportunity to develop and use creative problem-solving skills to tackle some of the city’s biggest challenges. This is a great example of the intersection between STEM and the arts, where students design, build and code their own robot. We are running many more of these events across 2020.

Transport for London’s Technology and Data Outreach programme is run in schools by TfL employees. Students learn basic programming used to display live bus and train arrival information. Since 2016 the programme has reached 5,500 pupils.