Recently we have been discussing the complex and volatile world in which we live and work, and the increasing need for more interdisciplinary teams.
Locally, Innovation Exeter is focused on cultivating a City-region which is a world-leader in environmental data analytics. This is an interdisciplinary area and results will be achieved by exploiting the presence of the Met Office, the University of Exeter, the Science Park, the Maths School and other critical assets. STEM∗ STEMM° STEAMM℘ are top topics. Naomi Climer, the president of the Institute of Engineers, values the mix of creative and technical skills in individuals. However, the skills and personal qualities which underpin and enable interdisciplinary working in these highly technical areas are vital across all sectors and at all levels. If we are to tackle the productivity challenge and be more fulfilled individuals we need to unleash confidence, communicate effectively, collaborate meaningfully and re-discover curiosity.
Our meeting of Employers, Training Providers, Facilitators and Funders on Friday 25 November explored the theme Full STEAMM Ahead! Interdisciplinary STEAMM teams with strong collaborative abilities are the way ahead. We enjoyed presentations from and discussions with:
|Kerry Burnham||Exeter Maths School||Creative and interdisciplinary project work with the University, Exeter College and employers – the benefits of being stuck!|
|Louise Cole & Kevin Feaviour||Imagine If – Assets for Success||Soft skills in schools, colleges, universities communities and the modern workplace|
|Rosie Bates||Education Business Partnership||STEAMM & the EBP – STEM Ambassadors, Big Bang etc|
|Anka Djordjevic||Grand Challenges – University of Exeter||Grand Challenges interdisciplinary enquiry –led learning with leading academics and external specialists|
|Jo McCreedie||Careers & Employability – University of Exeter||Internships & employability experiences
(Presentation to be added when technical glitches solved!)
Our main discussion points identified our need to:
- Transcend silo mentality and cross boundaries
- Ensure students experience breadth and develop interdisciplinary skills as study subject areas become more specific
- Think beyond the immediate demand for STEM and not to fixate on ‘the now’
- Focus on ‘Character, values and virtues’
We will need an interdisciplinary, creative, collaborative, innovative group to make this happen.
This was an interesting and informative start to what should be a Grand Challenge for Exeter and beyond.
Thanks to the Met Office who generously hosted this meeting.