STEM Ambassador, Ian Blenkharn, was recently awarded the Spark! London Volunteer of the Year 2018 award for going above and beyond in his work to inspire young people.
Spark! London's Original Education Business Partnership supports the preparation of young people for adult and working life. Their 32nd annual celebration and awards were held at the head offices of their partner Cisco in Bedfont Lakes, Feltham.
The Volunteer of the Year award recognises the industry volunteer that has “gone the extra mile” in supporting education-business partnership over the past year.
Ian Blenkharn has been a passionate STEM Ambassador over the last four years, supporting career events and hands-on activities across West London. With a vast career experience as a microbiologist, lecturer, editor (the list goes on), Ian finds the volunteering keeps his communication skills at their best! He practices explaining technical topics to those without the technical knowledge during STEM Ambassador activities.
This is particularly crucial to his role as Expert Witness when he appears in court for cases relating to his expertise. He uses the skills he has developed with young people to explain to the Jury who also have less technical vernacular
Ian credits his career success to good fortune and hard work but also fantastic support from senior people. His interest in microbiology was kick-started by a biology teacher presenting him with a chest of microbiology equipment to complete a project outside of class. As a STEM Ambassador, he wants to help others as others have helped him!
Volunteering allows him to meet new people and exchange ideas with other STEM Ambassadors, employers and other organisations. If you want to get involved as a STEM Ambassador like Ian, get in touch!