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Winners of 2019 STEM Inspiration Awards visit CERN

Published: Feb 20, 2020 4 min read

STEM learning

STEM Ambassadors at CERN in January 2020

Competition winners from across the UK recently enjoyed an exclusive visit to CERN in Switzerland.

This unique opportunity was in recognition of the winners’ success at the 2019 STEM Inspiration Awards and included representatives from a wide range of STEM employers such as Siemens, Renishaw, Mott MacDonald, Raytheon UK, the Museum of Power and the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Each of these winners were commended for their contribution to STEM education at a prestigious House of Lords event held on 5 November.

Awarded by STEM Learning and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the STEM Inspiration awards celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations who inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects throughout education and into STEM careers. 

The prize included a tour of the facilities at CERN including part of the renowned Large Hadron Collider as well as the opportunity to see cutting edge science in action and meet expert engineers, technicians and physicists from across the facility. The visit was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKRI. 

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI said: “A key part of UKRI’s mission is to inspire the next generation of researchers and innovators.  

“We were delighted to have offered this once in a lifetime opportunity to this year’s STEM Inspiration Awards winners in recognition of their dedication and commitment to encouraging young people’s enjoyment of, and participation in, STEM.”

Reflecting on the trip, Brenda Yearsley, School and Education Development Manager for Siemens UK, said: “CERN is science at its most awe inspiring best. Seeing scientists, engineers and technicians from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world coming together to solve some of the fundamental questions of existence has been fascinating, and their enthusiasm has been infectious. 

“I can’t wait to share our experiences with the children and young people that we work with, and hopefully inspire the next generation of researchers and innovators.”

Applications for this year’s 2020 STEM Inspiration Awards opened on 3 February and will be running until the 6 April 2020.

More information about those involved

UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

UKRI provides funding to the STEM Ambassador programme including the STEM Inspiration Awards. There are currently over 30,000 STEM Ambassadors actively volunteering in schools, colleges and youth groups across the UK. They help bring a fresh perspective to STEM lessons and career opportunities by challenging stereotypes of STEM professionals and demonstrating real world applications of STEM subjects.  

The Science and Technology Facilities Council  is part of UK Research and Innovation – the UK body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and supports research in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational research and astrophysics, and space science and also operates a network of five national laboratories as well as supporting UK research at a number of international research facilities including CERN, FERMILAB and the ESO telescopes in Chile. STFC is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise.  stfc.ukri.org