Parents’ perception of STEM improving

More than half (51%) of parents said they would encourage their child to pursue a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)-based career, according to BAE Systems-commissioned YouGov research.

According to the research, almost the same amount (55%) of parents said they actively try to encourage their child to study STEM subjects at school, and 61% said they felt that their child has more opportunities to learn STEM subjects now compared to when they were at school.

The research surveyed almost 600 parents with children aged between eight and 15. It also found that 40% now thought there were enough resources available for parents to help their children with their STEM homework, with 4% going as far as to say there were now too many resources.

The results of the research were released as BAE Systems, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy joined forces once again to launch their nationwide schools engineering and science roadshow. Now in its twelfth year, the flagship education programme is set to reach 420 schools and 90,000 students this year. The roadshow aims to help tackle the UK’s shortage of scientists and engineers through a dynamic theatre show and workshop.

This year’s roadshow focuses on computing and engineering; demonstrating how robotics and computer coding are used in the real world by aircraft and naval engineers to design and build aircraft and ships. The activities are chosen to assist teachers in tackling the most difficult parts of the national curriculum for science, maths and IT.

Managing director, shared services at BAE Systems, Steve Fogg commented: “The results of this survey are very encouraging and show that we are starting to make some progress in changing perceptions about engineering.

“I am convinced that industry, education and government must continue to work together in encouraging more young people to consider a career in STEM. There is still a huge amount to do and no one organisation has the ability to make a lasting impact – it must be a joint effort throughout the UK.”