Free places available on virtual STEM courses for students in Devon to become future innovators

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Friday, April 30, 2021 - 10:33pm

The John Coates Charitable Trust is offering young people in Devon the chance to deep-dive into the exciting world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and develop their skills to become future engineers, through fully funded places on a range of courses.

Created by children’s STEM education charity, The Smallpeice Trust, the virtual courses are available to students from Devon non-selective state schools and are hosted in partnership with leading universities.

With a shared vision for supporting young people from all backgrounds to thrive in education and achieve their full potential, The Smallpeice Trust has partnered with The John Coates Charitable Trust, who will be sponsoring 10 places on the programme.

Students can pick from any one of the 15 online engineering courses, which will take place over several days from July-August.

The programmes allow young people a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of engineering and the different career paths available, through fun and hands-on activities, helping to develop their problem-solving, communication and team-work abilities. Students can explore a varied range of sectors and develop specific skills, including:

  • Learning how to operate ships and underwater vehicles with the Future Marine Engineering course, hosted by the University of Southampton
  • Analysing railway crashworthiness and designing a safe vehicle for passengers, with the University of Birmingham
  • Using interactive software to build and test infrastructure, investigating how civil engineers create cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient cities

The interactive courses further provide students with knowledge and experiences that can be added to CVs and UCAS applications, helping to make their applications stand out.

Dr Kevin P Stenson, CEO of The Smallpeice Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of The John Coates Charitable Trust in enabling more students from Devon to take part in our virtual engineering courses and benefit from hands-on learning experience.

“This past year we have all seen the positive impact of science, technology, engineering, maths and innovation in helping us solve complex challenges and make a difference in society. Still, there is a significant skills gap in the engineering sector with an annual shortage of 124,000 engineers.

“It’s essential that we provide young people, who are the key to a brighter future, with accessible opportunities throughout their education to develop and nurture their engineering talent, so that they can become the innovators of tomorrow. In particular, our aim is to create experiences that support more girls and students from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their STEM confidence and career aspirations. Extensive education is needed across schools for pupils, teachers and families to realise this and demonstrate that engineering is for everyone.”

For more information and to find out more about the different online engineering courses available, please visit:

If you are interested in signing up for a The John Coates Charitable Trust fully-funded place on one of the courses, please use one of the following codes when applying:



Places are available for non-selective state school students and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis against certain criteria.


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