The Academy launched the Stoke Engineering Project (StEP) in November 2013.  StEP is an initiative to encourage greater numbers of young people in Stoke-on-Trent to study STEM subjects and equip them for careers as engineers and technicians.  StEP builds on and deploys methods proven in the Academy’s Barrow Engineering Project and the London Engineering Project.

The objectives of StEP are to:

  • provide opportunities for young people to engage with engineering in practical ways, such as taking part in an engineering activities or visiting a local STEM employer or engineering careers fair
  • collaborate closely with STEM employers in the Stoke-on-Trent area to highlight realistic pathways to careers as engineers or technicians
  • train teachers to deliver the best possible STEM curriculum, making it more attractive and inspiring for students and ensuring a sustainable legacy for StEP
  • encourage schools and local STEM employers to develop closer, mutually beneficial relationships.

These objectives are achieved through the following strands of activity:

  • a small grants programme that helps participating schools and colleges obtain durable equipment and resources to assist with STEM lessons and activities and connect schools with other available opportunities to enrich the STEM curriculum. 
  • support for collaborative activities, between participating schools and colleges, for example, schools working together on an entry to a national engineering competition as well as a programme of activities for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.
  • the Stoke Education and Skills Partnership (SESP).  SESP partners participating schools and colleges and local STEM employers to deliver programmes strategically develop STEM and firmly embed a ‘STEM culture’ in the local area. Current projects are the Improving my Employability programme and Inspiring Young People. Improving my employability is aimed at developing employability skills to help young people maximise their opportunities to enter the workforce and make a success of their early career. Inspiring young people is a short film that aims to highlight careers progression in the local area and encourage young people in Stoke to raise their aspirations.

StEP currently involves the following schools and colleges:

  • Ash Green Primary School
  • City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College
  • Harpfield Primary Academy
  • Haywood Academy
  • Mill Hill Primary School
  • Priory Primary School
  • Saint Nathaniel’s Academy
  • Sandon Business, Enterprise & Arts College
  • Smallthorne Primary School
  • St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy
  • St Mary’s Catholic Academy
  • St Matthew’s C of E Academy
  • St Wilfrid’s Catholic Academy
  • Star Academy
  • Stoke-on-Trent College
  • The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent
  • Thistley Hough Academy
  • Trentham High School

The Stoke Engineering Project was independently evaluated during it's first year, the 2013-2014 academic year, to provide a baseline of what STEM was like in the schools and colleges before the project was launched. This will form the basis of future evaluation reports which will seek to establish the impact of the project.

 A summary of the evaluation can be downloaded: 

STEP Evaluation (749.25 KB)