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Scotland starts young STEM mentor programme
A new programme will develop young STEM mentors that will help inspire their younger peers to study STEM.
The Young STEM Leaders Programme, which will be run by the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC), will help young role models develop their mentoring skills and STEM knowledge.
Young mentors will receive training, as well as access to STEM experts for learning and support during their time as a mentor. The programme will also create accreditation routes for the young people involved, to recognise their development.
Science Minister Richard Lochhead announced the £500,000 fund to deliver the programme at the Scottish Learning Festival.
He said: “Inspiring young people to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers is vitally important if we are to bring about changes in attitudes, culture and perceptions of STEM.
“Young people themselves are the best STEM role models, so strengthening mentoring in STEM by children and young people makes sense. We want to capitalise on and learn from the range of mentoring and support programmes already operating in the education system, so we can broaden their reach, help develop leadership and nurture STEM skills.
“Our ambition is that, by 2022, schools across the country will be participating in this programme.”
The development of the programme will begin next month, with an initial consultation and piloting phase before opportunities become available for young people to get involved later this academic year.