CHEIL WORLDWIDE, London / SAMSUNG / 2019
89% of UK businesses struggle to recruit qualified workers in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This STEM skills gap has been called a ‘national crisis’ in the UK. It costs business £1.5bn per year with a current shortfall of 173,000 workers.
A vital part of this picture is that just 15% of scientists, 9% of life science professionals and only 6% of doctors come from working class backgrounds. STEM skills are not only crucial to the UK economy but provide economic stability for those disadvantaged backgrounds.
To combat this gap, Samsung and the Science Museum Group wanted to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts targeting lower income backgrounds. They aimed to spark curiosity in crucial STEM subjects and encourage lifelong learning across the UK.
Our solution was to create a unique space experience that harnessed Samsung’s technology to inspire students across the country. We turned a double decker bus into a replica of the ISS and filled it with inspirational and educational experiences.
When on board, the students found entertaining activities showcasing the delights of technology, science and space. Powered by the latest technologies, allowing students and families to interact with educational subject matter like never before, highlights included a digital space suit that used face and body tracking to put students in the boots of an astronaut, science lessons hidden in tablet games and a 360 VR experience of astronaut Tim Peake’s descent back to Earth.
We took the bus to 60+ disadvantaged schools with low cultural engagement rates across the country. By bringing the wonder of space travel to life in new ways, it was designed to be both inspirational and accessible.
Our strategy was to inspire children to go to see how far science could take them, all the way to space, by bringing space to them. It focused on reaching disadvantaged KS3/4 (13-15-year-old) students, targeting disadvantaged local schools struggling with engagement in STEM subjects. This ensured that the mobile experience opened up access and supported schools that normally would not have the means to run this kind of activity.
Over 130 days’ activity, the bus visited a total of 90+ locations across the UK, providing 68 school activation days, while remaining completely free of charge. The tour is travelling through eight cities around the country ending in May 2019. It also turned up in locations as diverse as Peterborough Cathedral, Bournemouth Air show and Bestival.
The National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft, was supported by a national PR and marketing campaign involving media previews and family launch events at each venue and multi-channel promotion of the tour. Tim Peake’s passion and experience was used to inspire in person and via traditional and social media, backed by STEM ambassadors.
The tour achieved a total of 56,154+ engagements over 130 days at 90+ locations including 60+ schools.
The wider PR effort achieved over 584 pieces of coverage with an estimated reach of more than 117 million.
It was Samsung and the Science Museum Group’s most widely engaged VR experience to date, sparking a desire for learning in vital STEM subjects on a truly national level.
Following the tour, a massive 81% of 7,000 students surveyed gave a positive rating, with between 35-50% reporting they were more interested in STEM subjects.
We had fantastic feedback from the schools engaged, with 100% of teachers agreeing Samsung’s technology generated excitement for students and helped them to understand the relevance of STEM subjects in the real world.
TBWA\MEDIA ARTS LAB, Los angeles