Published: 25 August 2023
The ClementJames Centre is a resource centre for marginalised local people based in North Kensington. They provide education, employment and wellbeing support and have been working in their community for over 40 years.
In 2023, The Ogden Trust aided the ClementJames Centre with funding for physics and engineering FOCUS weeks for local children in Year 6. These Physics FOCUS weeks aim to introduce young people to the subjects of physics and engineering as well as the career pathways available in these areas.
During a week-long programme, students participated in a variety of activities, including experiments on fan cars, a carousel of workshop investigations and other experiments related to physics; participants also worked on group research projects on a famous physicist or engineer.
“The best thing about the programme was the carousel because we got to do loads of different things while learning”
Year 6 student
Students presented their research and investigations to classmates and teachers, they also took part in a trip to the Science Museum where they explored the space exhibition and an interactive workshop with WonderLab. Participants also spent a day talking about future aspirations and explored questions they had about university, as well as the different pathways and careers of the physics and engineering sectors. The week concluded with a mini graduation ceremony and a tour of St Mary’s University.
“The children had the opportunity to experience university and became aware of the choices they will make in the future.”
Year 6 Teacher
The impact of the FOCUS weeks can be seen in the results of the end questionnaires. Student feedback showed that across the two FOCUS weeks, on average:
– 91% enjoyed the programme
– 70% felt it was now more likely they would go to university
– 72% felt they had improved confidence
– 71% felt the FOCUS weeks had helped towards career goals
– 82% felt they had improved teamwork