GBSIoT and Thinktank summer programme inspires over 700 young people in STEM

In an era of rapid technological advancement and innovation, cultivating a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among young people has never been more crucial. Collaborations such as the one between Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) play a pivotal role in sparking curiosity and creativity in the next generation.

This summer, Thinktank, as part of their Career Ladder programme, borrowing three different pieces of education STEM equipment from GBSIoT. University students, employed by Birmingham Museums Trust over the summer, designed and ran several activities with the STEM kits to Thinktank visitors ages between 3-16.  This programme reached over 700 children through engaging activities centred on Sphero Bolts, KUBO coding, and Ozobots. The activities were designed to offer children the opportunity to explore the realms of STEM in an interactive and enjoyable manner.


Feedback from the Thinktank educational staff reflected that what made this initiative particularly notable was not just the numbers and free loan of the STEM kit, but the comprehensive support and resourcefulness of the GBSIoT team. The university students leading the activities received training to ensure they could effectively utilise the provided STEM Kit. Furthermore, the GBSIoT team took the time to explain the kit’s potential and even allowed Thinktank staff to borrow some of the equipment before the summer programme, enabling them to familiarise themselves with the technology.


A Thinktank staff member commented on this support, saying, “From my perspective, it was an all-around excellent experience. Earlier, you folks had offered training, and you took time out to explain to me what you had on offer and enabled me to take some of the kit away to familiarise myself with it too. All of this was really helpful to BMT as an organisation since it enabled us to use the kit with a level of expertise (although none of us necessarily became experts).”


GBSIoT’s dedication to enriching STEM learning in the Greater Birmingham area by providing resources and expertise resulted in success within a new part of the Career Ladder programme. Not only did it provide an additional area of development for the students running the sessions but the ability to offer informative and enjoyable STEM activities perfectly aligned with the museum’s new coding gallery, enhancing the overall visitor experience.


Notably, what sets this collaboration apart is its cost-effectiveness. The fact that Thinktank could access GBSIoT resources and use them to advance STEM education without incurring any financial burden is particularly noteworthy. As the Thinktank staff member aptly mentioned, “Being able to do this so cost-effectively (i.e., for free) was particularly useful for us given the current economic situation.”


In an era where many face financial constraints, partnerships that allow them to continue their crucial educational missions without incurring extra expenses are invaluable. GBSIoT’s generosity in making their STEM Kit available for use, coupled with their willingness to provide training and support, exemplifies the power of collaboration and underscores the commitment to promoting STEM education at all levels.


The success of this summer programme is a testament to the positive impact that can be achieved through partnerships between educational institutions, community organisations, and museums. It not only benefits children by nurturing their interest in STEM but also strengthens the fabric of the community by inspiring future scientists, engineers, and innovators.


The partnership between Thinktank and GBSIoT stands as a testament to the collaborative effort that fuels the growth of STEM education, even in the face of economic challenges.

Furthermore, we are pleased to offer the STEM kit from GBSIoT for free to all schools and community organisations in the area, with no associated costs. If you are interested in borrowing this kit, please feel free to contact us. This opportunity ensures that the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will continue to thrive, providing valuable educational resources for the benefit of all.

Find out more here: GBSIOT STEM equipment.pdf