Did you know for 2018-2019 STEM Ambassadors contributed an astonishing 531,149 volunteer hours?
For International Volunteer Day (taking place on 5 December) we wanted to celebrate our wonderful community of STEM Ambassadors, each of whom give their time to inspire young people into studying STEM subjects and taking up STEM careers.
But rather than us just telling you why volunteering is great, we asked our STEM Ambassadors to share their favourite thing about being a STEM Ambassador. The theme for 2019 is 'Volunteer for an inclusive future' so we were thrilled that we got such a diverse range of responses.
Here are some of their answers:
Bridget O'Boyle (@Bridget_OBoyle)
I think that overhearing a small child say "I thought science was boring but it can actually be quite fun!" Speaks for itself!
Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee (@K_Ramps)
My favourite thing about being a STEM Ambassador is seeing the surprise on the faces of young people when I tell them what I do. It's great to be able to change their perceptions of STEM careers and inspire the next generation.
Sunaina Aytan (@AytanSunaina)
Hearing from young girls: ‘”wow your job sounds cool”
My favourite thing is when the children tries to guess the type of scientists I am, and the amazement on their faces when I say that we test their poo samples!
Alisdair Bowie (@ABowieSTEM)
Has to be the excitement and enthusiasm when the students are engaged in the activities they do. When I get difficult questions that usually means I've piqued their interest. That and some of the good ideas I can pass off as my own...
Helping young people to understand what quality is: how they can inspire others and how a quality focused career can be interesting, fulfilling, rewarding and well paid!
John Bibby (BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT)
Getting kids to achieve things they didn't think they could do. When one kid came up to me at the end of a year’s Imagineering classes and whispered to me "I wish you were my dad" I had trouble hiding the tears in my eyes. Moments like that don't happen very often but when they do it's something you remember for the rest of your life.
Ian Robinson (Bombardier Transportation)
For me it is about getting the chance to make young people excited about a career in science technology and maths. It is always a great feeling when you meet young people who already have a strong interest in STEM subjects and are already set on that as a future career.
At a recent careers evening at a local secondary school I met a young lady who had done her work experience at Bombardier and was now set on a career with us.
Florenie Ermeje (AnTech Ltd)
As well as educating young people about the different careers in STEM, my other favourite thing is educating myself. I go to schools hoping to educate young people but I also gain knowledge every time I volunteer. Every school and every event are different and I consistently hone my skills in dealing with young people and children. The more exposure I get, the more confident I am in the next event.
Nicola Mehegan (@NicolaMehegan)
Hearing a young person ask workers from a chemical company what they were doing to reduce their use of hydro carbons to ensure they leave the world in a good place for future generations to live in.
Stephen Vernon (@stevernon3)
I volunteer thinking that I can - in some small way - give insight to the next generation, and I always leave feeling so grounded, with a real sense of privilege to have been invited into the world of education. It gives me such hope and that’s my favourite thing.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to each of our dedicated STEM Ambassadors.