Why support the 1851 Trust?
There is a widely acknowledged lack of young people coming through into science, technology and engineering. The State of Engineering 2018 report by Engineering UK defines the annual employment shortfall as 124,000 engineers and technicians. Given the current supply of talent coming through the education pipeline, Engineering UK anticipate the annual shortfall to be 37000-59000 engineering grads and technicians. The 1851 Trust was set up by Sir Ben Ainslie and the British America’s Cup team in 2014 to use the ‘Formula 1’ of sailing as a way of engaging more young people.
What is the 1851 Trust doing to address this?
The 1851 Trust has refined its delivery to primarily focus on engaging 11-14 year olds in order to inspire and capture the imagination of these young people before they make decisions about their GCSE options. We hope to encourage more uptake of STEM subjects at GCSE and therefore subsequently at A Level and Higher Education.
Programmes do also encompass both primary and older secondary school students, enabling us to reach those who will most benefit from participation in our projects.
We harness the power of professional sport to challenge perceptions and to excite more young people about the opportunities for them in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We use America’s Cup sailing and technology to illustrate important themes such as Ocean Health, Invasive Species, Wind Power and the Carbon Cycle as well as STEM workshops which see young people use what they learn to design their own sails, boat hulls and test the materials used in the America’s Cup racing yachts.
Sailing has enormous health and wellbeing benefits as well as being a way of developing confidence, communication and teamwork in young people. We want to remove the barriers to participation in sailing by providing free sailing taster sessions as well as follow on RYA Level 2 Dinghy courses for the young people taking part in our programmes. Getting our young people out on the water also provides an excellent real life illustration of the science behind sailing and builds on what they have learned in our STEM workshops.