Welsh broadband firm to expand educational STEM programme

A programme to teach Welsh students about science, technology, engineering and maths, provided by Welsh broadband firm Ogi, will be expanded after a successful pilot. 

Ogi have been working with Science Made Simple on the scheme with pupils in years five to nine from three schools in the Vale of Glamorgan. Workshops put on over the autumn term saw the students take part in activities such as using circuit boards, resistors and LEDs to emulate a broadband network. 

Pupil soldering circuit boards at a desk

Head of Brand and Engagement at Ogi, Sarah Vining, said: ‘We talk a lot about the benefits of ultrafast broadband here at Ogi, and this initiative gives pupils the opportunity to build their own piece of the puzzle; learning more about the technology they use each and every day.’ 

She added: ‘These groups have shown a real understanding and appreciation for the inner workings of a broadband connection, taking nothing for granted as they explore the science that continues to keep them connected to the world around us.’

Ogi is a ‘home-grown’ Welsh internet company that is seeking to bring full fibre connections to the ‘left-behind’ towns and villages across South Wales. The pilot scheme in Llantwit Major coincides with the installation of Ogi’s initial work with broadband infrastructure in the area. 

Following the success of the initial sessions, the company will now use feedback from schools to design the ‘next phase’ of STEM programmes, to be carried out next year. 

One of the teachers involved in the programme, Ms Pearson, said: ‘We are always excited when there are opportunities to further develop science and particularly the STEM suite of subjects in our school.’ 

The Welsh curriculum currently states: ‘The knowledge and deep understanding gained through experiencing what matters in science and technology can help learners live independent and fulfilling lives that sees them contributing to society and culture in a variety of ways.’ 

The issue of connecting communities was highlighted in a Senedd report earlier this year which found that Welsh people were being left with ‘sub-par, unreliable broadband’ that could risk leaving those in hard-to-reach areas excluded from the wider community. An Ofcom estimate found that about 15,000 premises in Wales cannot get a connection of at least 10mbps download and 1mbps upload speeds.

Chris Evans, of software company Idox, spoke about the importance of keeping families connected in his feature in June.

Photos from Ogi


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