STEM: Branching Out

Dr Catherine Jewell | October 2016

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Beck Greener “STEM: Branching Out” project, a new initiative within the Community aspect of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme. 

STEM: Branching Out encompasses a variety of activities aimed at inspiring and encouraging young people to consider careers involving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, and raising the profile of the IP profession, while also providing our staff with opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as communication, leadership, presentation, and project-management.

In the first stage of this project we have become part of the STEM Ambassadors Programme, working with the National STEM Learning Centre and Network to visit schools and support events such as the popular “Big Bang Fair” and “Speed-Careers” events.  We will also be supporting teachers in the classroom by explaining the career opportunities in intellectual property that may be available to students. 

In addition, we are now offering pro bono assistance to school-aged students.  Patent attorneys at Beck Greener will work with the students to prepare and file UK patent applications for potential inventions coming out of school science projects. 

We are pleased to announce that 75% of our eligible fee-earners have signed-up as STEM Ambassadors, and between us we have already reached around 1000 students between Years 3-12 since June 2016! 

Alongside our work as STEM Ambassadors, we have recently begun providing work experience to IT students on industrial placement, as part of their degree course.  Our first student joined us in January 2016 and we welcomed our second student in September 2016.

We hope to expand our STEM: Branching Out project in the future by offering skills training to Years 11 and 12 students, and eventually offering work experience to university students interested in pursuing a career in IP. 

If you would like further information about our CSR activities or about our STEM: Branching Out project, please contact James Stones, who is the Partner responsible for CSR, or Catherine Jewell, who is leading this project.  In the meantime, watch this space for further reports!