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STEM outreach: Intellectual Property Office

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Blog Series, Collaborating & Networking, Outreach

It’s British Science Week so we wanted to tell you about some of the great science outreach work we are doing at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and share details for our exciting new video going live this week. The IPO not only serves as the official UK government body overseeing intellectual property rights, encompassing patents, designs, trademarks, and copyright, but also actively engages with schools and universities to showcase this work. 

Aligned with the GSE Strategy, IPO initiated a STEM outreach program to help with this aim. This initiative mobilised a passionate team of volunteers, primarily consisting of patent examiners who hold degrees focused on STEM disciplines. This outreach team focused on encouraging an interest in STEM disciplines in young people.  To do this work, the Outreach team provided a varied range of activities aimed at young people which included: 

  • Regular visits to a local nursery to run demonstrations and experiments, which have so far comprised ‘Oobleck slime’; ‘Dancing Popcorn’; and ‘The Science of Snow!’. 
  • 'Girls in STEM' sessions designed for Year 7 girls, with the goal of showcasing both female and male STEM role models, introducing intellectual property as a viable career path, emphasising the significance of intellectual property knowledge in STEM fields, and inspiring girls in the local community to pursue STEM beyond their school years. 
  • An 'Inspirational Inventors' competition inviting year 8 students to submit essays, posters, or videos on 'the inventor they would most like to meet.' 
  • A science mentoring initiative, collaborating with year 10/11 students from a nearby high school. 
  • We recently hosted a 'Bring Your Child to Work' day, where approximately sixty children and young adults visited the IPO office. They participated in patent and invention-themed activities, including sessions resembling 'Dragons' Den,' and gained insights into careers in innovation, IT, and the Creative arts.  

Being situated in Newport, South Wales, the IPO takes pride in having Welsh-speaking volunteers who collaborate with a local high school. In their latest session, they devised a new feature for the standard Bunsen burner, connecting it with the flame test component of the school's science curriculum. 

While our in-person outreach efforts prove immensely rewarding for both our staff and the students, we also produce an 'Inside STEM' video series and educational resources tailored for 11–14-year-olds. These animated videos and supporting resources delve into pivotal STEM topics that will shape the future, intertwining them with the realm of inventions and patents. The most recent instalment spotlights the remarkable material graphene, showcasing its extraordinary strength, flexibility, and lightweight properties that have propelled it into numerous recent innovations. Titled 'Inside STEM - Graphene,' it’s the third video of the series and is set to launch during British Science Week 2024 (8-17 March) You can watch the Inside STEM video series online via our IPO Education YouTube channel 

Coming up: The IPO are thrilled to announce that work has commenced on the upcoming episodes for the 'Inside STEM' series, which will encompass five videos covering the Government's five key technologies. 

Follow the IPO channels to keep up to date with their latest activities: 

IPO Education X

IPO Education Facebook

IPO Education LinkedIn

IPO Education YouTube

Cracking Ideas Website

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