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Funding for STEM WP Initiative

Posted on 14 March 2013

An innovative Reach Out Chemistry York network will be established to target year 9 pupils

ROCY network picture

The Department of Chemistry was successful in being awarded a grant of £9,000 from the University’s Widening Participation (WP) Initiative Fund. The funding will be used to develop additional widening participation initiatives/activities for prospective undergraduate students from groups currently under-represented at the University of York.

The funds will be used to create a pilot Reach Out Chemistry York (ROCY) network to engage, initially over a 12 month period, with Year 9 pupils at targeted WP schools to promote STEM subjects in Higher Education.

This innovative project will allow the Department of Chemistry to build on our existing outreach work and further strengthen our links with the University Widening Participation team

Professor Richard Taylor, Head of Department, Department of Chemistry

Katrina Sayer, Admissions Officer in the Department of Chemistry who is leading the project  said “It is envisaged that ROCY will support the University’s inclusivity and retention targets in a number of key ways:

  • raising aspirations across the UK with the most able but less likely to achieve
  • de-mystifying the journey to STEM subjects in Higher Education
  • supporting on-going engagement including careers advice through video and web resources

The funds will be used to send trained student ambassadors into schools to inspire the next generation of STEM students. The ambassadors will be provided with materials to give a dynamic presentation to targeted groups of pupils in the selected schools. A ROCY  video and a new open-access ROCY website will be developed with pupils, teachers, careers advisors and key influencers having access to this. Aspects of the Department’s  chemistry applicant site, Chemistry@York and the Stepping Up to Chemistry web resource will be appropriately tailored and embedded into the site.