Our core flagship programme, Uni Genius, currently supports African and Caribbean students, as has successfully supported many BAME students to progressing in STEM. Former Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said “it was clear schools and colleges needed additional support” in preparing young people for careers. The Uni Genius programme connects disadvantaged students with opportunities, to boost their aspirations.
Through work experience, STEM masterclasses, university visits and corporate challenge days we have:
- Successfully supported over 400+ to study STEM at University
- 56% of our students from African and Caribbeans backgrounds achieved 3 A’s minimum (compared to 5% for Black students nationally)
- 100% of students carrying out work experience all studied degrees related to their work experience placements
- 60% of our BAME students went on to study engineering or related degrees at University (compared to 19% of BAME students nationally)
Generating Genius is extremely unique in nature for several reasons:
- We support students over a prolonged period, with constant engagement
- We focus exclusively on STEM subjects and careers, due to the attainment gap of black students compared with other demographics within STEM and the shortage of black professionals within many STEM industries.
- We combine academic and professional engagement to inspire, motivate and empower our students
1. The Programme
The programme has a specific emphasis on creating awareness of opportunity, establishing role model relationships for students and changing industry attitudes and perceptions for both students, academics and businesses within the Hammersmith & Fulham Borough.
1.1. Pilot Scheme
This pilot scheme involved 50 students across London
Successful applicants will be from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background and are expected to meet at least one of the following criteria, which will include:
- Eligible for free school meals at any time during the past six years
- Among the first generation in their family to go to university
- In care
- Young carer
- Studying Maths, Chemistry, Biology or Physics
1.2. Levels of intervention
We will work on the following interventions:
1.2.1. Work Experience
Work experience is a crucial component of the programme that will create awareness of opportunities and motivate students. Quality work experience consists of project setting, presenting, networking, role modelling and mentoring. Projects based on realistic STEM challenges will be given to the students to work on. Challenges can include planning an app to tackle social issues, creating a market analysis of a cure for Multiple Sclerosis or proposing a way to make London Carbon neutral by 2050.
Each work experience placement gave all the students the opportunity to present their project solutions to the cohort and company staff. The 1 week work experience also engages businesses and demonstrates how to engage with and create a thriving environment for a diverse talent pool of candidates. Providing work experience is in line with benchmarks 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 from of the Gatsby Benchmark.
We organised at least 2 work experience placements per student. 300 days of work experience for 50 students. Some work experience placements will host more than 1 student per week.
Our successful work experence placement provided the following skills that are critical for STEM:
- Problem Solving
- Logical Reasoning/Justification
1.2.2. Work Experience Preparation Sessions
Work experience preparation sessions are a valuable opportunity to ensure students have the best working experience. Many students do not have exposure to office or working environments, and so lack many of the basic skills needed to thrive in the workplace. The preparation sessions will ensure that students are prepped and ready to enter the workplace.
1.2.3. Challenge Days
Challenge days allow businesses to engage the students with their world of work and motivate them to consider a career in their industry. Through setting real-life challenges, students can learn how to apply their knowledge to overcome a task. This also gives exposure to different areas of the business, appealing to a larger number of potential future candidates. This not only helps build the confidence and ambition of the students, but also gives businesses amazing employee engagement opportunities that increase the willingness to invest in young talent.
GG proposes 2 company challenge days.
This video shows a previously organised challenge day with BAI Communications, that was aimed at inspiring black Year 12 students to STEM.
1.2.4. University Visit Days
A visit day was organised and delivered for students to visit Imperial College campuses. The visit l included a tour of the campus, as well as participating in STEM taster activity and being given the opportunity to meet current undergraduate students. Using current university students from BAME backgrounds to work with the students is an effective way to motivate students towards STEM and provide positive role models.
1.2.5. STEM Masterclasses
Imperial College deliverred 6 STEM masterclasses, at the GG centre in Victoria. These sessions drew on the curriculum and research across Imperial in addition to stretching their A level curriculum. The masterclasses supported of GG staff and was delivered as half-day sessions using a mixture of methods including lecture-style learning and practical activity.
Generating Genius has an existing relationship with Imperial College’s Widening Participation team. We worked with them to provide volunteers for tuition support and to lead subject based masterclasses for students.
This will be a total of 18 hours of masterclasses.
1.2.6. Academic Revision Support
Using our partnerships with Independent schools (including Westminster Academy, Ibstock School and Latymer Upper School, St Paul’s) and academic tutors from Imperial College, we propose a total of 16 revision sessions covering Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. Academic attainment is important to ensure that students are in the best possible position to progress onto higher education or alternative access routes into STEM.
This will give 48 hours of revision support (mainly concentrated in Year 2 of the programme).
1.2.7. Year 12 STEM summer schools
GG proposes that students be given the opportunity to attend one of the Imperial University’s summer schools. The cost of the summer school for students should be waved.
1.2.8. Mentoring/Providing role models
A key component of the programme will be using Generating Genius Alumni, Imperial College’s BAME Society Groups, Businesses and undergraduate students to act as role models for sixth form students. This will continue to inspire the students to aim towards working in STEM fields in the future.