bp celebrates 50 years supporting education in the UK

At bp we are proud to be celebrating our 50th anniversary of investing in education in the UK.

bp has recognised the challenges and opportunities in connecting education and business since we first creating our ‘Working Party’ on education in 1968.

Fifty years later, young people still need that same support and guidance from organisations like bp that are willing to recognise the part they can play in inspiring and shaping the future workforce.

That’s why bp is one of the UK’s leading supporters of STEM education (science, technology, engineering and maths). bp has developed an extensive and varied programme of investment that has a real impact on the attitudes of young people by raising their aspirations, inspiring them and connecting the dots between school and future careers.

That history runs from the Challenge to Youth back in 1968, a national competition to get young people involved in hands-on projects, to the Ultimate STEM Challenge today, which sees students tackle real-world challenges with investigations into topics such as efficiency, sustainability and resource consumption. This year students will be challenged to re-invent the future by re-designing tools and technology that we have long taken for granted.

The bp educational service has been a core part of bp’s education strategy since 1972 and has evolved into a market-leading set of innovative, curriculum-linked and online teaching resources. bp educational service resources are created to help teachers integrate ‘real world context’ directly into their lessons. Videos, animations, posters and worksheets present students with information in an interesting and inspiring way.

These resources are used by more than 80,000 registered teachers in 57% of secondary schools in the UK. In 2017 our resources reached 1.4 million students, our volunteers worked with nearly 10,000 local students and bp supported the continued professional development (CPD) of over 16,000 science teachers and technicians.

Taking STEM beyond the classroom, building connections between theory and practice, and encouraging creativity and innovation are all at the heart of inspiring young people to take on STEM careers.

Whilst the challenges remain similar, we all know that the world we live in is changing rapidly: technology is developing all the time, changing the way we work, learn and communicate and shaping the jobs of the future in ways we cannot accurately predict. In this fast-moving environment, businesses like bp must continue to communicate with young people, help them to see their future careers in industry and develop the skills they need at a time in their life when there are plenty of other distractions.

The 50th anniversary is a chance for our volunteers and our leaders to reflect on how far we have come, how consistently the education strategy has been embedded in bp, and how much it is a part of what we believe in and do, as individuals and as a business. In a changing world our education programmes are something we can be proud of and – this year especially – celebrate!

All bp educational service resources are free to access and have been tested with teachers. Register today or log in to find out more.

"We value the bp link, the partnership has already had a significant impact upon our STEM outcomes as a school."

Headteacher, Langtree School