BP showed its support for the Royal Academy of Engineering by hosting a ‘This is engineering’ event at the ICBT Sunbury in November. Some 135 school students spent a day on the campus, visiting stands run by BP volunteers specialising in different STEM areas and taking part in an engineering design challenge.
The students visited six stands and found out about over 30 different engineering and science disciplines followed in BP. They learned about how we use drones, robots and auto-arms to keep our equipment running safely. They were given introductions into shipping, geology, and data science in action – using a machine learning algorithm that predicted their drawings in real-time!
Education and Employers, a national charity
To round off the day, the whole cohort of students took part in an engineering challenge that tasked them with building an offshore platform ‘jacket’ structure. This task taught the students the importance of teamwork and showed them a practical application of engineering at BP.
Education and Employers, a national charity, highlights the importance of events such as this: “Research shows that by six years old, children have already started to form opinions about what they can – or can’t – be in the future. They are influenced by what they see around them, and gender, ethnicity, and social background can play a big part in this.
Event hosts Masudur Rahman, community affairs coordinator; Aleida Rios, head of engineering, Upstream; and Jill Douglas, BP schools education manager
“A young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and can earn up to 22% more during their career.”
Jill Douglas, BP’s UK education manager, says: “BP believes that ‘This is engineering’ events are essential to give young people the exposure they need to work towards a career in STEM subjects. The UK’s engineering sector is 94% white and 91% male – numbers that do not at all reflect the diversity of our young people in schools today.
“The world faces many problems which science, technology, engineering and maths are needed to solve. Addressing the dual challenge – providing more energy to the world while reducing emissions – will require a large workforce of talented problem solvers. Educating our young people in STEM subjects and encouraging them into these careers is the only way to achieve the diversity of thought that is necessary to meet these challenges.
Planning for the event was led by the ICBT community affairs team, who added: “Thanks so much to all the Sunbury Manor school students who attended, and to our BP volunteers for giving their time to support this fantastic day!”