Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, Oriel worked with Generating Genius to deliver the STEM@Oxford programme. The programme provided targeted support to talented Year 12 A-Level students from Black African and Caribbean backgrounds as they learned about the Oxford admissions process and developed key skills to thrive in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Over the course of the year, a mix of in-person and virtual events were delivered to the thirty-five Generating Genius students, who came from schools in London and Birmingham. Oriel’s Outreach Officer, Arron O’Connor, designed a programme of support that guided students through every aspect of the Oxbridge application process.
Among other activities, students were given the opportunity to experience a taste of STEM teaching at Oxford, with engaging lectures from Dr Phil Grünewald (Renewables, efficiency, smart tech – what is the role of scientists and citizens to make it happen?), and Dr Deaglan Bartlett (Special Relativity).
Alongside the academic content, Generating Genius students took part in a personal statement workshop, which one attendee described as: ‘Very helpful. It was extremely informative, with clear ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’. I feel like I am in a better position to write my personal statement.’
The programme successfully inspired students to consider degrees in STEM at institutions including Oxford and Cambridge. Of the thirty-five students on the programme, ten (29%) went on to make applications to Oxford or Cambridge (six to Oxford) for degrees such as Medicine, Computer Science and Natural Sciences. Reviewing the first year of the STEM@Oxford programme, 97% of participants described the programme as ‘informative’ or ‘very informative’, with 81% of participants also describing it as ‘engaging’ or ‘very engaging’.
The programme presented an amazing opportunity for students to explore STEM degrees at highly selective institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge. Throughout the year, levels of engagement among the Generating Genius cohort remained high and participants demonstrated a readiness to learn more about the world of STEM.
Following the success of the first year, Oriel is delighted to be working with Generating Genius again this academic year to deliver the STEM@Oxford programme to another group of talented young students.
Generating Genius aims to find and develop the next generation of STEM leaders through a range of educational and mentoring programmes. Their Uni Genius programme is designed for Year 12 A-Level students from African and Caribbean backgrounds, helping them to gain the key skills required to thrive in the world of science and technology.
Generating Genius and Oriel announced their partnership on the STEM@Oxford programme, the first time the organisation has collaborated with an Oxford college, in November 2021. Read more here: https://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/about-college/news-events/news/oriel-joins-forces-generating-genius-support-future-stem-leaders