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Mulberry and Mercedes Host First STEM Academy Event

The Mulberry Schools Trust and Mercedes F1 have hosted the first Mulberry STEM Academy event for 2021 scholars...

The first event of the Mulberry STEM Academy took place on Saturday 27 February, with 40 successful scholars joining the team for a virtual event.

The careers talk provided the 2021 scholars with a look inside our Formula One team and inspiration for their future education choices.

In November 2020, we announced an innovative partnership with the Mulberry Schools Trust and the creation of the Mulberry STEM Academy - as part of our vision and commitment to becoming a more diverse and inclusive team.

It was officially launched by Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff, with a virtual event from our team HQ in Brackley, to the three Mulberry schools in London.

The Mulberry STEM Academy will provide a specialised programme for young people who have talent, passion and aptitude in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

It will give the scholars extracurricular learning and inspirational experiences, through vocational training, study and masterclasses.

Over 100 applications were received from students at Mulberry Academy Shoreditch, Mulberry School for Girls and Mulberry UTC for the 20 places available in Years 10 and 12.

Through a rigorous selection and interview process, done remotely, the first cohort of STEM scholars were awarded places on this year's programme.

The first event for the 40 successful students, alongside Headteacher Dr Vanessa Ogden, was a Careers Talk on Saturday with our Technical Director James Allison and Chief People Officer, Paul Mills.

It also included four of the team's past and present graduates, who have volunteered to be part of the STEM Academy programme. The event was designed to introduce the students to the team and inspire them, as they set out to make their decisions on future education and careers.

The team's graduates talked through their roles and the educational choices they made, as well as sharing some insights into what it's like to work for a Championship-winning F1 team.

The majority of students at the Mulberry Schools Trust are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds, groups which are very under-represented in skilled areas of STEM industries.

Mercedes F1 and Mulberry hope that the establishment of the Mulberry STEM Academy will give students the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to move forward into careers in engineering, design and science-based industries, and in turn become the role models of the future for their peers and younger students at the Mulberry Schools Trust.

Dr Vanessa Ogden, CEO of the Mulberry Schools Trust and Headteacher of Mulberry School for Girls said: "I am delighted with the success of our first event with Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix. Our Mulberry STEM Academy scholars were thrilled to meet the employee graduates, who were all highly aspirational.

"Imaginations were sparked and ambitions raised, as our students listened to the different educational routes that can lead to a flourishing career in STEM. Our young people deserve the best and we know that exposure to high quality, stimulating events like this will propel them more quickly into exciting futures and desired destinations.

"We look forward to seeing our students grow in confidence as they progress through the programme over the coming months."

Paul Mills, Chief People Officer at the Mercedes F1 Team, added: "The first event of our Mulberry STEM Academy programme has been eagerly anticipated and meeting this year's cohort of students on Saturday was the moment that I most looked forward to since we created the concept last year.

"I am very grateful to the team at Mulberry have worked so hard and with such determination, on top of the significant challenges faced by all schools over the past year, to enable us to reach this point so quickly; their efforts have been truly remarkable.

"Together, we have developed a uniquely exciting curriculum for our scholars, designed to ignite their passion for STEM and build confidence and aspirations for their future education and careers. Although we were not able to meet in person, the enthusiasm and ability of the group shone through, and we were also delighted to be joined by several former Mulberry Schools Trust students who are now studying STEM subjects at university, providing further insight and encouragement.

"On behalf of everyone at Mercedes F1, we are delighted to have begun our programme and look forward to welcoming and supporting the students over the course of this year. Thank you to all involved in the event from the teachers to the students, our team employees and the Mulberry Schools Trust board for their efforts."