Swindon and Wiltshire LEP and a range of partners are working to encourage pupils and students throughout Swindon and Wiltshire to engage in STEM subjects and acquire new skills. We are developing packages of support to assist schools and colleges to enter regional and national computing challenges with teams of pupils and students. We will support teachers’ training and development including the use of microcomputers (Raspberry Pi and BBC Micro:bits).  

We intend to celebrate the work of those pupils, students, teachers, schools and colleges who participate in the challenges and acquire new learning and skills.  We are keen to promote more opportunities for physical computing. and you can register your interest here.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP has teamed up with Enthuse Partnerships to offer Schools in Swindon and Wiltshire a package of support for the betterment and development of STEM skills by encouraging students to gain knowledge, skills and understanding in physical computing. Our aim is to improve young people's attainment and engagement in STEM subjects and develop their awareness and understanding of STEM careers.

 Along the way we want to support schools to enter a regional competition using BBC Micro-Bits or Raspberry Pi computers.  SWLEP and partners including the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology will be running a regional award to celebrate the pupils that have engaged in their Micro Computer challenge with various events and prizes. Teams of young people will develop their software skills to program the micro-computers to automate processes in a product that has the potential for real-world development.

As a stepping stone to working with Raspberry Pis, schools and colleges will also have the option of starting with Micro:bits, which are similar computers with lots of ingenious potential.

Schools can apply to the Raspberry Pi Awards, in association with PA Consulting. This year’s theme is “Health and Wellbeing”

We shall use the same theme for our regional competition to make it easier for schools and colleges that wish to enter both our regional competition and the national Raspberry Pi awards sponsored by PA Consulting.

We are bringing together a small group of schools and colleges to support collaboration and develop and strengthen local partnerships. Schools and colleges will be supported by an expert Advisor who will help with needs analysis and action planning to guarantee participants achieve their aims and outcomes over a 2-year period.

The programme will support teachers through subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD) for science, technology, engineering, computing and mathematics teachers and technicians.  There will be funds as part of the package to enable schools to pay for cover so that teachers can undertake CPD.

This extra support in STEM skills is backed up by STEM Ambassadors, who are volunteers from STEM employers and industries.  They will work with schools and colleges to support and inspire young people in STEM subjects.

Also made available will be curated resources to use within or help teachers set up a STEM Club.

Through these clubs we hope to inspire Physical Computing using Micro:bits and Raspberry Pis, giving pupils and students the tools and opportunity to invent products that can benefit society. Using engineering and coding skills and a microcomputer, pupils and students put their ingenuity to the test to come up with inspiring solutions to global challenges.

Please use the link to register your interest and submit your details and we will be in touch with further information and next steps