British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of STEM that takes place between March 11-20, 2022.
Our commitment to STEAM education at Vertex is unwavering and is built on four core principles:
To inspire the next generation to love science and appreciate its positive influence on society
To support young women and students with identities that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers as they pursue and succeed in STEAM fields
To maximize community impact by partnering with local leaders, educators, and institutions to advance science education
To provide Vertex employees opportunities to serve as mentors and teachers, sharing their passion and experience
We remain fully committed to equipping underserved students to become the next generation of scientific leaders. This became even more apparent when we conducted a U.K.-wide survey of 1,032 school aged children in 2021 on how the COVID-19 pandemic had influenced attitudes to studying STEM subjects. The survey found a stark contrast between students from private and state schools. Among students who attend private schools, 90% said they plan to study a STEM subject at A-level, compared with 70% of students from state schools. Our survey also found that 75% of private school respondents plan to pursue a STEM degree at university, compared with only 57% of state school students. The findings suggested an urgent need for programs to support young women and students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM careers to pursue and succeed in STEM fields. Access to hands-on learning experience is pivotal in bridging this gap, which is why our STEAM education programs are a priority.
Our Oxford Learning Lab
In 2021, we launched new STEAM education programs at our Oxford research site as part of our new Learning Lab. The Lab space and programs are designed to create fun, hands-on experiences for students to explore science in the real world alongside Vertex scientists and mentors, giving them the skills and knowledge needed to pursue and succeed in a STEM career. Last summer, with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting our way of working, our team adapted and created a paid, virtual internship opportunity to enable students from the Oxford and London areas to learn new skills and receive career support and mentorship opportunities in a safe environment.
This year, we are thrilled that we can welcome students back in person so that they can take full advantage of our fantastic facilities. Our summer internship program will run from the end of July, welcoming over a dozen students to participate.
Vertex’s global commitment to STEAM
Our approach in Oxford forms part of Vertex’s broader commitment to improve inclusion, diversity, and equity in STEAM, including a £36.5 million investment globally to equip underserved students to engage with STEAM. Similar STEAM programs are run out of our research sites in Boston and San Diego.
For us this work is not viewed as an add-on, but rather as a vital investment in the future of science, technology, and innovation.