McLaren brings STEM support to Goodwood Festival of Speed

Festival of Speed | Press Article 16/04/24

  • Some 100 schoolchildren from 18 schools attend FOS to hear McLaren ambassador talks
  • McLaren is a major supporter of STEM education subjects
  • F1 driver Lando Norris supports brand’s STEM initiative

McLaren hosted around 100 local schoolchildren at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, as part of its integrated STEM programme.

The brand partnered with the Goodwood Education Trust to source GCSE students from 18 schools, who attended talks given by McLaren ambassadors on Thursday and Friday of FOS.

Designed to inspire more young people to take up careers in STEM sectors, McLaren’s programme incorporates a constant stream of nationwide talks, the creation of two BBC TV shows and partnerships with other initiatives, such as the Telegraph STEM Awards and the Autocar Next Generation Award.

McLaren ambassadors Ella Podmore (material scientist who worked on the 720S) and Sian Ebsworth (applied technology scientist working across healthcare products and Formula E) spoke to the youngsters about what they do and, importantly, how they got into their respective jobs.

Daniel Golding, McLaren Automotive’s Global Head of Corporate Communications, said: “We support STEM subjects to help inspire people to take up those careers. It’s important in a lot of cases to change the perception of what we do for both male and female students.”

In some cases, McLaren’s involvement in its various STEM support roles has led directly to careers at the brand itself. Telegraph STEM Award nominee Abi Wetton is now part of McLaren’s transport team in the applied technology sector.

Although many of its STEM-based activities are based in the South and South East, thanks to the company’s Woking location, it uses its nationwide retailer network to organize ambassador talks at the rate of one a week, on average, with primary school students benefitting as well as GCSE-level pupils.

McLaren Formula One driver, Lando Norris, said: “McLaren isn’t just a race team; it has its automotive arm and applied technology business so it’s really quite diverse and I know we want to keep building on that.”


Pic caption: Sian Ebsworth (l) and Ella Podmore talk about their careers in STEM



Staged every summer since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by MasterCard is the world’s largest automotive garden party; set against the spectacular backdrop of Goodwood House in West Sussex, UK. Over 600 cars and motorcycles spanning the phenomenal history of motoring and motor sport take part with some of the most legendary figures from the sport as well as international celebrities regularly attending. Highlights will include the Moving Motor Show, Forest Rally Stage, Michelin Supercar Paddock, Michelin Supercar Run, F1 paddock, Drivers’ Club, GAS Arena, Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance, Aviation Exhibition and Bonhams Auction.


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