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Hands-on STE(A)M activities and university taster courses to encourage young people into STEM-based careers.


The Lowdown

The hands-on courses are designed to increase confidence, help students make well-informed decisions about their future and show STEM career paths to be accessible and exciting. Headstart courses range from 4 to 5 days.


Minimum of 30 participants, maximum of 60 participants.


£399 for all residential courses, per student. Bursaries are available.

Dates and Location

The course takes place at different universities across the UK.


Courses range from 4 to 5 days.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Design/Art/Fashion
    • Electronics/Robotics/Programming
    • Energy/Environment
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Materials/Products/Manufacturing
    • Medicine/Healthcare
    • Space/Aerospace Engineering
    • Structures/Construction/Civil Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering/Systems/Processes
    • Transport

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming High - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem Solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

  • Staying Positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

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Engineering Education Scheme

Students will experience problem-solving while working on a real-life STE(A)M project, created by a local company.

  • Ages 16 to 17
  • In-school
  • 6 months, 1 hour a week
  • Cost applies


Students spend 3 days at a leading UK university doing exciting hands-on activities and personal development sessions.

  • Ages 15 to 16
  • Offsite - Multiple locations
  • 3 days
  • Cost applies

Routes Into STEM

Students gain first-hand experience of life at college, university and within a company.

  • Ages 13 to 15
  • Offsite - Multiple locations
  • 3 days
  • Cost may apply

Careers resources