Kev Stannard has recently been shortlisted for the Outstanding STEM Ambassador award as part of the STEM Inspiration Awards 2018. He tells us about his experience of working with young people and how much being nominated means to him.
I have been a member of the Royal Air Force for over 20 years, working all over the world. My job involves providing communications systems for airfields which are used to help aircraft take off and land as well as for people working on the ground to coordinate their movements.
I volunteered to become a STEM Ambassador in 2012, I had been involved in working with young people for many years before this as an Air Cadet Liaison officer. Part of this role was to allow young people the chance to experience different types of jobs - the STEM Ambassador programme allowed me to deliver this type of work to a much wider audience.
"My hope and ambition is to continue delivering activities that add value, support schools and most importantly help young people realise their own potential."
Over the years I have designed and developed workshops that I have delivered in schools around the North or England, I have managed STEM residential weeks for the RAF. These weeks are for year 10 females from around the country, up to 40 students are invited to attend a week-long residential experience at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire. During the week they visit different departments that require STEM skills and have a go at the job. They also complete a project and at the end of it are awarded a CREST Award.
I have been very fortunate throughout my RAF career to have been supported by some of the best and most talented people the country has to offer, as a STEM Ambassador I can use these skills to inspire the next generation of the UK workforce to consider a career that interests them.
Being shortlisted for the Outstanding STEM Ambassador award is very humbling, I see it as the responsibility of my generation to engage with and support young people in making the right career choices, it has been and continues to be the most rewarding experience that I have had. Every school and its students are different and no one STEM activity is the same.
Working both with STEM Learning and business in across the UK will allow me to develop workshops that are relevant to specific regions, based around the main available industries that will help bring a sense of real life to students. When they are studying subjects in school they will be able to see the link between the academic world and that of industry.
My hope and ambition is to continue delivering activities that add value, support schools and most importantly help young people realise their own potential.