What age can you join?
Between 8 and 17 years old. The ages are split into 3 levels – Stars (year 4, 5 or 6), Innovators (year 7, 8, 9, or 10) and Scholars (12).
What prizes do you get?
Stars – Prizes are based around experiences; fun days out and discovery days. All Stars receive a tour of Marshall or a another similar site tour.
Innovators – Prizes will be based around experiences rather than cash. The winning team will be awarded a trip to places such as Mercedes Benz World, science or technology museums.
Scholars – One team will be awarded scholar status. In 2017 this team visited Cern in Switzerland.
What is the aim of the programme?
Cambridge LaunchPad encourages, educates and inspires young students about STEM. The programme is a way in which students can be rewarded and exposed to new and exciting experiences, with the aim of bridging the skills gap that exists in Cambridge, and narrowing the gender imbalance in STEM
The aim is to have a bottom up approach, encouraging 8 year olds to stay on throughout the programme right up until they are 17.
We aim to work with our chosen schools and understand where we can help them (fitting into the curriculum and helping recruit for after school clubs) and their students.
How are students selected?
Stars – Chosen schools will bring their entire year 4, 5 and 6 year groups to different corporate partner locations, and will undertake a series of skill-based activities, testing things such as communication, dexterity, problem solving and many others. The activities are fun and inspiring.
Innovators – Students apply in teams through their schools and undertake a STEM-based project, set by a corporate partner.
Scholars – Students apply in teams through their schools and undertake a STEM-based project, set by a corporate partner.
What happens when you are over 18?
Students 18 and over are encouraged to be involved in the programme. They become ambassadors and help out at festivals etc.
What makes the programme unique?
The programme follows students throughout their education in order to influence their A-level choices.
Winning teams are not selected on academic ability alone. They are judged on the level of teamwork, creativity and application.
The programme aligns the STEM outreach initiatives of a number of Cambridge companies to ensure a level of cohesion and evidence-based evaluation.
What are the benefits for the students?
Students are able to visit many different company locations and be exposed to various STEM careers and areas of inspiration.
Older students are able to use their achievements on their CV to demonstrate their ability and aptitude.
Will there be an award ceremony?
Students are awarded as Stars at a Gala Picnic. Traditionally, this is an outdoor picnic event where a fun STEM-based activity is also carried out (e.g. marshmallow tower). Children attend along with their parents.
Students at Innovator and Scholar level are invited to attend a dinner where they are awarded with certificates and an award.
How much does it cost to be in the programme?
Nothing, the programme is free of charge.
What should I do if I’m interested?
Those interested should register their interest on the website via the contact form.
Can I be involved if I live far away?
If you are not one of the chosen schools, this just means that we will not be actively working with and promoting to your school. At star level you will not be able to get involved just yet, however we will accept secondary and sixth form student teams from schools a little further afield in certain circumstances. We will broaden the intake area after our first year.