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Businesses join forces to run STEM Event for North East schools


  • Over 200 pupils from 11 schools took part in the STEM-tastic @ Virgin Money event
  • A variety of businesses ran interactive workshops to raise awareness of the exciting range of careers in the region

Over 200 pupils from 11 North East schools have enjoyed an inspirational day exploring potential Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers at Virgin Money’s offices in Gosforth.

The STEM-tastic event provided children aged between 11 and 13 with the opportunity to take part in a day of STEM activities and workshops provided by a range of North East businesses.

The workshops included:

Busy Bees: Oracle highlighted to pupils that ‘science is all around you’ in the use of their Bee application. To help conserve the honey bee population - essential to human survival - Oracle has collaborated with the World Bee Project to create the world’s first network of connected smart hives to collect data remotely. They showed how this data is then fed into Oracle’s Cloud, which uses tools such as artificial intelligence and data visualisation, to give researchers new insights into the relationships between honey bees and their environments.

On Safari: Dimension Data transported pupils to a South African safari via a static cycling bike and a virtual reality headset to learn more about how their technology has reduced rhino poaching by 96%.

Robotic Orchestra: Northumbria University showcased their ‘Robotic Orchestra’ to pupils, demonstrating the skills and understanding involved in working with robotics, network technologies, engineering and design.

Laura Fleetham, a pupil from Kings Priory, Tynemouth said: “Science is one of my favourite subjects so I really enjoyed the interactive science activities. There were so many fun things to be a part of, like learning the best way to build a paper plane to the interactive safari.”

Claire Collins, teacher at Consett Academy said: “STEM events like this are enrichment opportunities for the children which is important insight into what the future can hold if they want to progress a career in STEM. Having the variety of companies provide activities gives the children a broad feel for STEM careers, raising their aspirations and interest.”

Carol Harrison, Business Network Manager from the Regional Technology Centre North said: “The STEM-tastic event was an amazing opportunity for students and their teachers to really understand what the North East tech sector has to offer young people. This is industry at its best coming together to inspire the next generation in STEM related careers.”

James McGlynn, Chief Information Officer at Virgin Money said: “Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, we were delighted to host this fascinating event for school children in the region. I hope they were inspired by the workshops which brought to life how the application of science, technology, engineering and maths can make a difference in the world and to their potential career path.”

The event was held in partnership with the Regional Technology Centre North, 17 National and North East employers covering a variety of STEM industries and the North East STEM Ambassadors Hub. The STEM Ambassador Hub brings together educators, employers and influencers who work to inspire and enable people of all ages to consider STEM subjects and jobs in the future.

Media Contacts

Virgin Money Press Office
0191 279 4676


Employers who took part in the STEM event were:

  • Accenture
  • Cognizant
  • Deloitte
  • Dimension Data
  • DXC
  • Featurespace
  • Greenshift
  • ISS
  • Learn IT Compute IT
  • MAADigital
  • Northumbria University
  • Oracle
  • Ricoh
  • RTC North
  • ServiceNow
  • UK Apprentice Network (UKAN)
  • Virgin Money

Schools who attended the STEM event were:

  • Bellingham Middle School
  • Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead
  • Carmel College, Darlington
  • Consett Academy
  • Gosforth Central Middle School
  • Home School Network
  • Kings Priory, Tynemouth
  • Monkseaton High School
  • St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, Sunderland
  • St Thomas More Catholic School, Blaydon
  • Studio West, West Denton
  • Walbottle Campus

About Virgin Money

  • Virgin Money offers savings, mortgages, credit cards, current accounts, currency services, pensions, investments and protection products to customers across the UK.
  • Virgin Money’s business ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • More than 14,500 charities have registered with Virgin Money Giving and, by the end of June 2018, over £660 million had been donated to charities through the service since its launch in 2009, resulting in an estimated £20.6 million more donated to charities because of its not-for-profit model.
  • Virgin Money is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CYBG Group.
Virgin Money plc - Registered in England and Wales (Company No. 6952311). Registered Office - Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4PL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.