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​EDT is the UK’s largest provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities for over 30,000 young people age 11-21, annually.

7 October 2015

EDT, WISE Members and WISE Award Winners tell us more about their current programme of Headstart courses.

EDT’s work-related learning programmes link educators and industry and give talented scientists and engineers of the future an amazing opportunity to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills.

EDT wants to encourage all young people to engage with STEM and understand the range of exciting, challenging and rewarding careers that are available, but we acknowledge that sometimes young women need some extra encouragement to overcome stereotypes and barriers that are unfortunately still out there. The latest figures, (August 2015), show women make up 14.4% of all those in STEM occupations. This is an increase, which we celebrate, but after all the concerted effort of the past decades does show that more still needs to be done.

Routes into STEM

EDT’s newest programme Routes into STEM is an innovative 3 day taster experience which provides young people aged 14 to 15 (Y10) with a fantastic opportunity to compare both university and apprenticeship pathways into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers. They are held over three days in half terms where a day is spent at a local university, college of further education and an employer. Students meet and talk to apprentices and undergraduates and then with both during the employers day. Each day also includes hands on activities and information giving. 29 Young women from 13 different schools in the Telford area recently attended a Routes into STEM course .They took part in a wide range of STEM activities and the overwhelming message they took away with them was “Girls can be.....Anything they want to be!”


EDT’s female only programme is Inspire, for Year 11 (15 to 16 year old girls) to motivate and prepare them for studying maths and science in the sixth form. Each Inspire course is a mixture of exciting hands–on activities and personal development sessions. The young women can find out how to use their creative and problem solving talents to be successful and pursue an rewarding career that can make a real difference. In summer 2016 there will be Inspire courses at 13 UK universities.


EDT’s Headstart courses for Year 12 (17 year olds) take place at some of the top universities in the country and are run by inspirational leaders – our female only course is run with great commitment and enthusiasm by a Professor recently awarded an MBE for her services to women in engineering. Our broad-based engineering courses give a flavour of many different aspects of engineering and our focus courses provide insights into more specialised fields. The unique blend of learning and networking, whilst having fun, provides the perfect mix to understanding what type of career might lie ahead and helps young people make a more informed UCAS application.

“I absolutely loved my week. I met some amazing people and it gave me a really good insight into engineering. My company visit led really well on from my project the day before and the course was REALLY WELL organised. Thank you ever so much Headstart.”

In summer 2015, of 2110 young people who attended Headstart, 42% were young women. Compared with female participation on many STEM degree programmes and occupations this is an astonishingly high figure and one we are keen to share with the WISE community.

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