The journey into a STEM career – or not – can start in early childhood when children are defining their views of the world, particularly gender stereotypes.

Unilever recognises that, if it wants young people to apply for STEM-focused apprenticeships and graduate-entry roles at the ages of 16,18 or beyond, it needs to help children to understand, from a very early age, that ‘STEM is for them’.

In collaboration with All About STEM, the company has developed their Bright Future Excite Programme in order to help pupils in Y1-6 (ages 5-11) understand how the work done at the Unilever Port Sunlight R&D site relates to their schoolwork and the world in which they live.

The Bright Future Excite programme involves Unilever-sponsored delivery of the Reading is STEMsational programme to a selected number of primary schools each year.

Reading is STEMsational is a primary-school literacy project that enables schools to use their Literacy and Science curricula as the basis for a whole-school STEM week, enhanced with enrichment and careers-aspiration activities.

Working with All About STEM, Unilever staff STEM Ambassadors have developed a series of classroom activities, which can be delivered as part of each school’s involvement in the programme.

For example, in the Conservation-themed Reading is STEMsational programme, pupils work with Unilever staff STEM Ambassadors to explore such things as:

– How the different parts of a plant are used to fragrance Unilever’s products
– The processes used by the company to develop the most effective sustainable packaging
– How the company can source raw materials in ways that causes the least impact on our environment.

Schools interested in being considered for involvement in the programme can contact [email protected].