STEM Learning is delighted to announce the winners of the STEM Inspiration Awards 2019.
The awards celebrate those extraordinary individuals and organisations who inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Many of the winners are volunteers, passing on their own passion and expertise to students, encouraging them to pursue STEM careers.
Awarded by STEM Learning and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation, the awards also recognise employers who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to STEM education and who have successfully embedded this within the culture of their organisation.
Meet the 2019 STEM Inspiration Award winners
Outstanding STEM Ambassador
Sarah Chapman (3M United Kingdom)
For fifteen years Sarah has been promoting STEM careers to young people, engaging thousands of students through careers events, STEM Clubs, school visits and more. She is always looking for creative ways to share her passion for STEM.
As a STEM leader, Sarah has helped shape and develop 3M UK’s award-winning community education programme which aims to encourage more young people, especially girls, into STEM careers. Her work even extends outside the UK, organising a termly STEM video call with a school in Zambia.
Outstanding New STEM Ambassador
Tim Chapman (Fujitsu)
In the past two years, Tim has achieved a phenomenal amount as a STEM Ambassador. Through his volunteering, he has consistently broadened the horizons of the students he encounters. Working in the Cyber Security division of Fujitsu, Tim has brought his own industry expertise into his work as an Ambassador, setting real-life challenges for his Code Club and moving students on from Scratch to programming with Python. Trips to Big Bang events, the Lego Innovation Centre and Wavemaker Creation Studios in Stoke have all played a part in expanding the club’s knowledge of STEM careers.
Tim has also taken his experiences back into Fujitsu, inspiring other colleagues to start Code Clubs and championing women in STEM by helping to developing Fujitsu’s “Girls Day”. What’s more, Tim was part of the Department for Education’s Panel of Professionals helping to develop the new T-Level curriculum.
Innovation in STEM Inspiration
Fast Trackers (Network Rail and Mott MacDonald)
With Fast Trackers, Network Rail and Mott MacDonald has delivered an outstanding outreach programme which received the Industrial Cadets Gold award. In fact, 88% of those going through the programme were more likely to consider a career in Engineering than before they started. The judges were keen to highlight the work the Fast Trackers Programme has done to directly link higher education to career opportunities.
To achieve this, the Fast Trackers programme offered a comprehensive mix of site visits, time with employers and with higher education, and time spent on a practical Engineering Challenge. A truly innovative project, Fast Trackers has also worked to increase the social mobility for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students.
Inspirational STEM Employer (joint winners)
Radiotherapy Department at the Beacon Centre, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton
Facing a 33% decrease in students studying radiotherapy, the department at Musgrove Park Hospital wanted to improve awareness of careers in radiotherapy. They sought out the STEM Ambassadors programme and reached out to schools across Somerset, offering CPD sessions for teachers, all with great success.
The department created an excellent programme of work experience and enrichment days for students. These proved so popular that they had twice as many applications as there were places to fill. The judges were very pleased to give this award to the Radiotherapy Department which has shown great initiative to address the problem of a STEM skills shortage.
Raytheon UK is a first-class example of a business that supports STEM engagement. Its commitment to the STEM agenda flows from the top-down as the company CEO, Richard Daniel, is a STEM Ambassador himself. Running a STEM programme since 2013, the company currently has over 240 STEM Ambassadors.
Raytheon has dedicated resources and created programmes, like the Quadcopter Challenge, which young people can engage with. Raytheon ensures that each project has a practical understanding of STEM and a clear application which will inspire young people to consider a career in the field.
Inspirational STEM Technician
Stephen Pickles (Renishaw)
Joining the Renishaw apprenticeship scheme aged 16, Stephen has shown outstanding enthusiasm in how he engages young people in STEM. He has worked to mentor students both in schools and with the Scouts. At Renishaw, he has devised several new and innovative workshops for students, all tailored to the curriculum and the needs of different age groups.
Stephen has also been a true role model when promoting apprenticeships. By attending careers fairs and giving presentations he has used his role as a STEM Ambassador and an apprentice to champion different career pathways.
Outstanding STEM Club
Downlands Community School, Hassocks
With three STEM Clubs running at the school, Helen Colvert has done an exceptional job raising the profile of STEM subjects at Downlands Community School. The clubs are highly collaborative, working with others schools, STEM Ambassadors and with a range of industries.
Never missing an opportunity for cross-curricular activity, for one project the club even worked with the foreign language department when students had to design and present the project in German! The Downlands STEM Clubs have encouraged a highly practical approach, with students developing business plans and working through a real-life design/build processes. It’s unsurprising that the clubs have grown in popularity and in number.
Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM
The SeeWomen campaign was launched in 2018, with 40 schools involved in raising girl’s aspiration in STEM. In 2019 that campaign developed into the larger SeeMe programme. This helped students from a diverse variety of identities and backgrounds access STEM by addressing barriers to STEM in the classroom.
The programme has been truly innovative, bringing together media and education partners to create a ‘wow’ factor for the SeeMe shows. Keen to maximise SeeMe’s impact, and believing that attracting more diverse teams makes for better scientific innovation, the show and resources have now been made available digitally too. Siemen’s own journey has led it to broaden its own programme to increase inclusion in STEM.
Congratulations to all of our winners!
Applications for next year's STEM Inspiration Awards will open early in 2020. Keep an eye on the awards page for the latest news.