9 July 2024

A HEUristic approach to STEM

At the Health Economics Unit collaboration is one of our core values, and one loud and proud example of this is our team band, The HEUristics. Covering songs ranging from modern pop, country classics and even a pinch of punk, the band have recently started playing live gigs, raising money for charity and awareness for STEM careers. We take a look back at the band’s origins, their live successes and how a love of music has grown into something bigger than the sum of its parts.

Heuristic means “enabling someone to discover or learn something for themselves” and the inception of the Health Economics Unit’s band was just that – starting as a way to bring our team together while the pandemic, with it’s multiple lockdowns, was pulling us apart. The team would practice their various instruments and play together online after work.

As we were allowed to come together once again, rehearsals moved to in-person and a set list put together for their first gig – held in March 2024 at the Hoxton Underbelly in front of a crowd of more than 100 excited fans, from health, care and beyond. The gig was free to attend, though through optional donations more than £1,000 was raised for the excellent charity Music in Hospitals and Care.

More recently, the HEUristics were invited to play at St John’s Highbury Vale CE Primary School, offering not just a fun musical experience for the pupils, but also an opportunity to meet musicians who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Headteacher Hasina Khan said: “At St John’s, we hold careers events to help our pupils gain the basic knowledge and skills they need to navigate their career choices successfully. This year, we are promoting STEM in school, particularly promoting girls in STEM.

“Giving children opportunities to talk to people who work in the field has helped the pupils understand what the job entails and what they need to do to pursue this career path. It also inspired children to attend STEM clubs after school.

“The band playing at a whole school event allowed a larger audience to hear about the variety of jobs available in STEM. Also, people who work in this field are cool!”

The music doesn’t stop here though – there are plans afoot for even bigger things, to raise even more money for good causes – so watch this space!

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