Team Spotlight: Josh Minto

Team Spotlight: Josh Minto

Team Spotlight: Josh Minto

Meet Josh Minto, Education Relationship Manager, and find out what a typical day in his role in the North East STEM Hub looks like.

I left sixth form and went straight into a job with the Nissan Skills Foundation, where I spent almost 7 years delivering educational workshops to students at the Nissan site. As part of the skills foundation team, I delivered multiple sessions around the themes of engineering, manufacturing process, innovation and zero emissions technology, which included classroom sessions and factory and workshop tours. Initially, the plan was to go into teaching, but like many others in this sector, once you start to work within STEM, you catch the bug and it is now something that I am very passionate about because I believe the opportunities available to young people within STEM are really amazing!

What are the key responsibilities in your role?

As the Education Relationship Manager, I inform teachers of the offer that the North East STEM Hub provide for their schools. This includes the STEM Ambassador programme, CPD opportunities, STEM Clubs support and answering general queries from teachers. I produce a monthly newsletter that goes out to all North East teachers registered to the STEM Learning platform to inform them of opportunities in their area that they can get involved in. I also liaise with key network partners in our region, who are the Science Learning Partnerships and Computing Hubs to see where we can support each other, as well as sharing ideas of best practice.

Describe a typical day.

A typical day for me would include replying to emails from teachers and signposting them to opportunities of support to help get ambassadors into their school to enthuse and inspire their students. If their query requires more attention to detail, then I will meet with the teacher (normally virtually) to discuss details or inform them of the wider offer available. I will also send targeted promotions out to schools to inform them of opportunities, whether that is via direct email or through Adestra (our newsletter software).

What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your role?

One of the biggest challenges you can face is making sure the information you send out gets to the right person within the school for it to be actioned accordingly.


In some cases, it can be a real challenge to fill schools’ requests for ambassadors, especially in busy times of the year such as British Science Week or Space week as there is a large volume of activities advertised on the system.
Although slightly different from the other challenges, I would say it is a challenge to measure the impact of what we do. I would love to think I have been involved in organising an activity that inspired someone to pursue a career in STEM but due to GDPR, it is close to impossible to find that information.

What do you enjoy most, or what are you most proud of in your job?

In my first year with RTC, I have been lucky enough to meet some really interesting people and work on programmes and events that I am really passionate about. I enjoy the unique challenges that every day can bring and I am proud to work in the North East of England and to see the efforts from industry and schools in what has been a really challenging time for everyone.

What is one truth that would surprise your colleagues about you?

I play bowls, where I have 30 caps for England across a range of age groups from under 25’s to senior level.

SAGE ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINE SPONSORS OF STEMFEST

SAGE ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINE SPONSORS OF STEMFEST

SAGE ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINE SPONSORS OF STEMFEST

More than 3,000 North East schoolchildren are being given the opportunity to explore a future career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors across a three-day event at St. James’ Park.

STEMFest Net Zero is an interactive exhibition connecting nine to 13-year-olds with 50 of the region’s STEM companies committed to providing job opportunities now and in the future to support the next generation into the sector and to bolster the North East’s economy.

Sponsored by Sage, a leader in account, financial, HR and payroll for small and mid-sized businesses, the face-to-face and digital hybrid event is being coordinated by the North East STEM Hub in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation’s innovative NU Futures programme and the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

North East headquartered Sage recently announced a £1.8m skills investment, heralded as “transformational” by Simon Clark MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The tech leader expects the event will knock down barriers to ensure the region’s young people are given the tools and support they need to explore opportunities in science, technology and mathematics.

Claire Willis, Business Development Manager at the North East STEM Hub, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sage, Newcastle United Foundation and the North of Tyne Combined Authority on this major education exhibition for our region.

“There are so many North East companies working in this sector which our future workforce aren’t aware of. Through this event, we aim to enthuse and engage young people in STEM, highlight not only the companies, but also the various career paths open to these young people, right on their doorstep.”

STEMFest Net Zero will showcase STEM organisations from across the region, their response to climate changes and their plans to reach net zero by 2030.

The three-day exhibition between July 4 and July 6, 2022, will be held at St. James’ Park and is a flagship event for Newcastle United Foundation’s NU Futures programme.

Sarah Medcalf, Deputy Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “NU Futures is our Foundation’s commitment to providing career experiences for the next generation to explore life-changing opportunities available to them, here, in the North East.

“With significant support from the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Sage, we are thrilled to join the North East STEM Hub in hosting STEMFest and introducing young students to the North East’s thriving STEM sector.”

The Foundation recently announced Sage as its official Technology Partner as part of a multi-year agreement to transform and empower young people’s perspectives on their future from the charity’s new home – NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society – opening later this month.

Paul Struthers, MD UKI, Sage, said: “We want to empower young people to discover a world of career opportunities and enable them to get first-hand experience of what a job in STEM could look like. We believe this will drive interest in more engineering and technology-based careers in the younger generation and help to bridge the region’s skills gap.

“The sponsorship of STEMFest and the partnership with Newcastle United Foundation is part of a wider investment programme Sage has committed to in the North East. The aim of which is to drive STEM growth, nurture regional talent and curb digital inequality in the region.”

STEMFest Net Zero will see five themed zones bringing concepts to life for young people across climate adaptation, business and industry, buildings and construction, transport, and power and natural resources.

To get involved with STEMFest Net Zero, or to join the School Primary Day waiting list, visit stemfest.org.uk or email stem@rtcnorth.co.uk

Learn How to Draw Artemis!

Learn How to Draw Artemis!

Download and create Artemis illustrations of your own. Decorate your space with the systems that will take us to the Moon and beyond!

While NASA astronauts continue to live and work aboard the International Station, we are preparing for a new future in deep space. With the Artemis program, NASA will send the first woman and the next man to the Moon to set foot once again, and will build an infrastructure to allow us to stay and prepare for missions to Mars.

Now you can learn to draw a fleet of sophisticated space hardware that will take us on Artemis Missions – similar to the way NASA engineers and technicians sketched out early concepts for space suits, rockets, spaceships, ground systems, and orbiting platforms that have allowed us to explore other worlds.

Download your favorite – download them all! – and learn how to draw NASA’s deep space exploration systems that will power us to the Moon and beyond.
Color your drawings to bring them to life.

Share your creation! Upload onto social media and tag #DrawArtemis and #NASAatHome

If you are posting on Instagram, also tag @NASAArtemis

 

Some ideas to spark your creativity:

 

  • Draw your face into the helmet of a space suit
  • Show the Space Launch System launching with fire roaring from its engines
  • Place Orion near the Moon
  • Draw Space Launch System standing on the Mobile Launcher Platform
  • Include NASA and Artemis branding
  • Draw them all and piece together into one exciting space scene
  • Display your creation in a unique and interesting way

Team Spotlight: Rob Stobie

Team Spotlight: Rob Stobie

Team Spotlight: Rob Stobie

Your chance to get to know Rob Stobie, the Enrichment Partnership Coordinator at the North East STEM Hub and find out what a typical day in his role looks like.

Can you briefly explain your background and how you got to work in STEM?

I spent 23 years as an Avionics Engineer in the RAF and in the latter part of my career I was lucky enough to create and run a world leading data analysis team. During my career I became a STEM Ambassador and organised events and activities for children in Lincolnshire to participate in. I left the RAF to become a Secondary Maths Teacher and ran a STEM club alongside my full-time role. An opportunity emerged for me to work full-time in a STEM enrichment environment, and it was an obvious choice for me to apply. I think it is easy to be passionate and enthusiastic about organising STEM activities as they provide such enriching and enlightening experiences for the students, aiding in their development in ways that other activities can’t.

What are the key responsibilities in your role?

As the Nuffield Research Placements Coordinator for the northeast of England, I recruit year 12 students to take part in STEM and Social Science based research placements. I also recruit companies and institutions to provide the placements. Additionally, I hold the role of Coach for the ENTHUSE / Cummins Partnership in Darlington. This involves liaising with key stakeholders to ensure that the 10 Schools in the Partnership gain the most possible benefit from the enrichment and CPD opportunities that exist in the region.

Describe a typical day.

On a typical day I would go into a school or college to deliver an overview of the NRP Programme to groups of students. I would then attend a number of meetings virtually to discuss placement opportunities with potential providers. I spend quite a lot of time encouraging students to complete their applications and providing support through webinars. Similarly, I engage very regularly with providers to provide support and encourage them to register for the placements they are offering.

What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your role?

In some cases, it can be a real challenge to make the right connections within a school in order to gain access to students. Once students are recruited, there is an element of difficulty in getting them to complete their applications too. Similarly, providers often agree to provide placements verbally but need significant encouragement to register the placements. The other main challenge is to try to match students to placements that match their needs and are geographically close enough for them to attend.

What do you enjoy most, or what are you most proud of in your job?

I really enjoy interacting with others who are equally passionate about helping the next generation grow through enrichment opportunities. I love seeing how engaged the students become when I tell them about how exciting the Nuffield Placements can be. I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact that these life-changing experiences will have on the students, and I am proud to have been someone who has contributed to that.

What is one truth that would surprise your colleagues about you?

When I was in the RAF, I got sent to the Middle East by accident.

Air Zookas

Air Zookas

Air Zookas deliver a blast of air across a room by simply trapping air and then firing it forward.

 

Equipment

  • Air Zooka (can be found online)

 

Method

  1. Construct the Air Zooka as per instructions
    2. Pull on the handle inside the Air Zooka attached to the strong elastic
    3. Let go of the handle and see what happens
    4. It is probably best if you have a wiling volunteer in front of you (preferably with long hair) so you can see what happens. Alternatively try and fire at a curtain or blind to see what happens.

 

The science

The Air Zooka contains air, when you pull back on the handle, more air is pulled into the Air Zooka. When you release the handle, the increased air is pushed out of the Air Zooka with force enough to disturb your friends hair and/or the curtains/blinds.