National Grid aims to inspire half a million local school children

Last chance for schools to benefit from Hinkley Connection STEM fund

The 2023/2024 round of the Hinkley Connection Project Education Fund is now open to applications from local schools; helping pupils to branch out into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

Every single state school in areas impacted by the Hinkley Connection Project is eligible to apply for a grant up to £500 (for primary) and £1,250 (for secondary) which the school can then use to buy STEM resources of its choice.

Over 425,000 school children, including 87,182 children from disadvantaged backgrounds, have been supported through the fund since 2018. 

With construction due for completion by the end of 2024 this is the last year the Hinkley Connection Project Education Fund will be available. National Grid are aiming for a 100% uptake, so every eligible school is encouraged to apply by the closing date of midnight on Thursday 30 November 2023. Application can be made through Local Giving, the local fund administrator.

Steven Haskayne, “We’ve been working alongside local communities for over five years now and look for opportunities to bring lasting benefits to people impacted by our works long after the project has completed. 

“We’re proud of the difference our grants have made in inspiring the next generation of scientist and engineers. We’ve ensured STEM subjects are really brought to life, helping schools to buy the latest equipment which they might not otherwise be able to afford. We encourage every eligible school to apply in this final funding round.”

With over 1,240 grants awarded to date, totalling in excess £1.1M, the Education Fund is providing fantastic opportunities for young people. Uniquely for this type of fund, individual schools can decide what STEM equipment they’d like to spend the money on. 

One of the schools which has benefited is Redstart Primary School in Chard. They spent their grant on six advanced, programmable floor robots for children in Key Stage 2 to use. 

Another school to have benefitted from the Education Fund is Haygrove Secondary School in Bridgwater. The school put its grant towards a laser cutter for the Design and Technology Department. 

Teach Lynne O’Hallaran explained “The cutter enables the rapid build of prototypes, exposes our pupils to new technology and enhances creativity. It has made a huge difference to the depth and range of STEM projects students can undertake.”

In addition to the individual STEM grants to schools, National Grid has funded a number of initiatives as part of its nationally recognised Engineering Positive Futures programme.  These include:

  • Donating 40 modern laptops to Tickenham Church of England School, to help develop the school’s IT offering.
  • Donating 10 iPads to Sexey’s School; used to enhance and support STEM learning. 

The Hinkley Connection Project will connect six million homes and businesses to new sources of low-carbon, homegrown energy including from the new Hinkley Point C power station. By 2026 a total of 67 kilometres of overhead line (249 pylons) will have been removed to make way for and improve the visual impact of the new 400kV project.