Working in partnership with Central Government organisations and clients, we launched our Young Dreamers programme in 2022 – a fun and engaging competition for secondary school students to encourage them into careers in STEM.
Multiple research studies register a growing disengagement of young people with STEM subjects in school and a decreasing interest in STEM careers. Young Dreamers aims to inspire young people and show the breadth of activities that could translate into careers that STEM subjects cover.
The CGI Young Dreamers program gives students the opportunity to work on key skills such as teamwork, research and presenting, but the most important imperative is that they have fun whilst using STEM skills.
How it works
We work in partnership with Central Government organisations to define four “client briefs” for the children to work on, in groups of four to six students. The briefs are each for projects related to either Science, Technology, Maths or Engineering.
Recent briefs include, designing a wellbeing space for NCA employees (Engineering) and using technology to replace old systems and support rehabilitation within prisons (Technology). Each cohort consists of three schools which are selected according to their geography – usually close to CGI clients and our offices (according to our client proximity model), and their individual needs. We try to work with schools who will benefit the most from external support.
The programme is launched individually in each school at an Innovation Day where our team will present the briefs to the students, their groups are formed, and they start working on their projects. Then, with a little coaching during the day, the top teams from each school are selected to attend a finals event with students from all three schools.
In between the Innovation and Finals days the students are mentored by us as they develop their projects.
The finals events, held in prestigious venues such as Lords Cricket Ground in London, and Aston Villa football stadium, include a science fair where the students display their ideas and take part in a number of STEM activities and a dragons den where the children present their projects to a panel of CGI and Central Government experts who select the winner for each category.
Projects are evaluated on team work, creativity, research, and presentation skills. The winners are announced in front of all three schools at the end of the day where the proud students collect their STEM inspired prizes.
Making STEM fun
During the programme, not only do the children work on their team projects, they are also exposed to fun STEM activities, and have the opportunity to learn about jobs in the public sector.
During the Spring 2023 cohort at the Aston Villa foundation, West Midland’s Police attended, and children were delighted to try out some of their work kit such as their riot shield and baton. The National Crime Agency also engaged students in a questionnaire about crime prevention and CGI treated them to our Metaverse Experience.
Other popular fixtures at the finals events include creating a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows, programming a robotic ball to navigate a simple circuit and learning about healthy eating.
“The students showed impressive creative and collaborative skills in every challenge. I am extremely impressed with how committed CGI are to living their values and engaging with young people in our boroughs.
STEM subjects and careers are for anyone who is interested. As well as helping students learn about and see themselves in different STEM-related careers, we’ve gained an insight into the brilliant minds who will be joining the workforce in the future.
This has been an excellent initiative’. CGI Young Dreamers is highly deserving of an award for its life-changing, innovative approach to promoting STEM careers, which fosters creativity and innovation in young people, and helps build a more diverse and inclusive workforce for the future.” - Sarah Murray, Director of Local London
Working with Central Government organisations
We are delighted to work with Central Government organisations in the CGI Young Dreamers programmes, ensuring that students are exposed to as many organisations and career ideas as possible
In 2023, we welcomed support from His Majesties Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) who provided Director level judges at two of our events, The National Crime Agency (whose stand in the science fairs were a hit with children), and West Midlands Police whose riot kit was enthusiastically tested by students.
- For more information about CGI’s Young Dreamers program, or to apply for your school to participate, get in touch.