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Xaar aims to inspire STEM success with local school students

Continuing its collaboration with local schools and colleges, members of Xaar visited St. Peter’s School, Huntingdon for its recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Day. Supported by engineering organisation, the Smallpeice Trust, over 50 local Year 10 students attended, with the day held on 18th January deemed a great success.

The event gave an opportunity for students to engage with Xaar, as a global technology leader in inkjet, with practical tasks reinforcing the benefits of STEM subjects and their importance for future career opportunities.

Xaar’s six-strong team, who were involved in organising the event, were on hand to help pupils fully explore and understand the wealth of future opportunities available within its industry.

After an initial presentation about Xaar and its research and manufacturing processes based in Huntingdon and Cambridge, students were set several challenges. An introductory task of building the tallest tower (capable of supporting a weight of 100g) out of only A4 paper, engaged them from the start. The students then had to design, build and market some audio speakers and as they were able to take these home at the end of the event, it proved to be a very popular result for the students!

New soldering, design, manufacturing, electronics and marketing skills were developed during the day, along with understanding the importance of team building. Finally, congratulations were passed to the team who created a butterfly themed speaker as they were presented with their winners’ medals.

Commenting on the STEM Day, Amira-Ashley Moore, a student at St Peter’s School said; “The team helped us with our tasks and encouraged us with advice on how we could improve our speakers. Having Xaar here today really showed us what they do and what we could maybe become in the future."

With a focus on shining a spotlight on career opportunities through STEM subjects, and increasing awareness of career possibilities within Xaar, working with schools in the community is a key part of the business’ Sustainability Roadmap and engagement within its local community.

Xaar’s strong commitment to this initiative has seen several STEM events taking place, developing long-term relationships with a number of local schools, colleges and educational trusts, and raising awareness of the career and apprenticeship opportunities within the company.

Helen Clifton, Learning & Development Manager at Xaar said; “We are delighted to collaborate with the secondary school and to be part of such a successful day for local students, which delivers on the Community pillar of our Sustainability Roadmap.

“Highlighting the role of STEM related careers and the many exciting opportunities in our industry is key to our future and we hope that this event will have helped us to do this.”

Amber Walker, Careers Officer from St Peter’s School added; “We were absolutely thrilled to welcome Xaar and The Smallpeice Trust into school to inspire our students with all things STEM. The activity was so engaging and enabled our students the opportunity of new experiences such as soldering.

“It opened our students’ eyes to the vast variety of opportunities within STEM and promoted the importance of each role within the team which really enabled our students to understand the power of teamwork. There really was a buzz in the air, the feedback from the students was incredibly positive and it would be an absolute pleasure to welcome Xaar and The Smallpeice Trust back again in the future.”

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