Lewis Hamilton
On Thursday 5th November, The Mulberry Schools Trust was excited to announce an innovative new partnership with Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and the launch of the Mulberry STEM Academy – a Saturday/holiday provision that will provide a place of learning, inspiration and innovation for young people. It will be a powerful supplementary provision for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education and, working together with Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd, it will offer a world-class programme of vocational training, specialised study and masterclasses for students aged 7-18 within the Mulberry family of schools and beyond. To celebrate this significant occasion and to coincide with the partnership launch, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd has arranged for Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff to join students from Mulberry Academy Shoreditch, Mulberry School for Girls and Mulberry UTC in a broadcast from the team’s headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire.
The provision will run on Saturdays during term time and school holidays for local young people who have talent, passion and aptitude in STEM, computing, physical science and design. It will offer a comprehensive and integrated curriculum, focusing on the long-term development, strength and needs of each student. Our students are bright, have a passion for STEM fields and will benefit from non-traditional teaching methods, such as industry specific and project-based learning to supplement and enhance the more mainstream teaching they receive in their classrooms and laboratories. Whilst schools within the Mulberry Schools Trust achieve well and currently have progress well above the national average in many areas, we recognise that our students do not routinely enter degree courses and apprenticeships in STEM compared to other science related pathways.
Our schools have worked hard for many years to place our students – most of whom are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds – at the forefront of STEM industries, but the dial has not moved fast enough. Representation from these groups amongst the respective workforce is low in skilled areas and it is particularly complex at the intersection of gender and ethnicity*. The establishment of this new provision takes explicit, positive action to address this early on in a child’s educational life.
The Mulberry Schools Trust and Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd are unafraid to go where the challenge is high. Both work within the territory of marginal gains to achieve success in their respective fields. They thrive on team spirit and an enjoyment of high performance – be it in the classroom pedagogy and practice or technical prowess on the race track. With their core values aligned, the partnership provides the foundations on which a deep, long-term commitment can be built. This crucial investment is required if the STEM provision is to change the picture, transform lives and develop a pipeline of talent into the Formula One workforce from amongst the youth of East London. The provision will give students access to inspirational role models, imaginative teaching and rich extra-curricular experiences over a five-year period. Graduates will leave with a passport into engineering, design and science-based industries and be highly desirable employees for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and other related sectors.
Toto Wolff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd commented:
“We are very proud today to announce our new partnership with the Mulberry Schools Trust and to continue our journey towards making a positive contribution to the future engineers and scientists of the next generation. This is a deeply important project for us and the result of a great deal of thought into how best we might make a lasting contribution to promoting diversity and inclusion within our industry. I know myself and all our team are passionate about the success of this programme and we look forward to welcoming the first attendees of the Mulberry STEM Academy and exploring how we can best support their learning journey.
Providing practical workplace experience and access to opportunities will be key to breaking down the barriers these students face when aspiring to their future careers and we are proud to be part of a project which will set them on a path to strengthening the STEM capabilities of our industry in years to come. The Mulberry Schools Trust is a hugely impressive organisation that shares our core values and we are honoured to be working with them. If the passion, enthusiasm, respect and excellence that I witnessed today during our virtual event with students from the Mulberry Schools today is anything to go by, this is going to be a very exciting, rewarding and successful venture.”
Lewis Hamilton continued:
“I was honoured to join the virtual event today to launch the new STEM Academy and to see the enthusiasm, intelligence and commitment of the Mulberry students for myself. It’s so important that, as a sport, we do all that we can to ensure we are as inclusive as possible. Increasing young people’s access to STEM and, ultimately, paving the way to careers in our industry is a brilliant way to do this. Creating a sport that is more representative of society is something very personal and important to me, and this partnership shows a real commitment from Mercedes to build a legacy that goes beyond motorsport.
The STEM Academy is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference and I’m proud to work alongside my team, in partnership with the Mulberry Schools Trust, to open doors for these students which might otherwise have been closed, and to give them the opportunity to excel. Providing young people from diverse and often disadvantaged backgrounds with the confidence and resources to implement change in their own lives is one of the strongest tools that we have to build a fairer and more equal future. I’m looking forward to seeing how the students progress and, judging by the questions I received today, I have every faith we will see some of them fulfilling their dreams of working in motorsport in the future!”
Jane Farrell, Chair of the Mulberry Schools Trust said:
“We are delighted that Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd is partnering with us on this exciting new venture. This partnership will provide access to world class innovation and performance that match the ambitions of our students and the communities that they live in. It’s our job to ensure that we create opportunities that encourage the development of the skills and confidence that will lead to fantastic employment opportunities in specialised industries that too often miss out on the talents of our truly diverse and brilliant students. I would like to thank Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix for seeing their potential and creating a true partnership of learning and opportunity.”