Assistant Civil Engineer Elizabeth Orchard was awarded the Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador
A teacher from Peterborough, a robotics company from Cambridge, and a civil engineer from Reading were today unveiled as some of the UK’s most inspirational people for motivating young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
They were amongst the five winners at the National STEMNET Awards 2012, supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. As part of the award, all winners receive a trip to CERN – home of the Large Hadron Collider – courtesy of STFC.
The full list of winners is:
- Assistant Civil Engineer Elizabeth Orchard was awarded the Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador. Elizabeth works in infrastructure design for Peter Brett Associates in Reading. She is dedicated to helping local student learn about engineering careers and is collaborating with three local colleges to design a new curriculum for a University Technical College, due to open in 2013.
- Laura Harvey, an Apprentice Higher at BT, won the Most Inspirational Technician award. She is based in BT’s Suffolk offices and works on the software engineering apprenticeship as part of their Innovation and Design technician apprenticeship. Laura regularly returns to her old schools to give careers talks and raise awareness of career opportunities that don’t involve going to university.
- Robert Duddridge was awarded the Most Dedicated Teacher for his work as a Lead Teacher in Science, ICT and STEM Coordinator, at the Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough. Rewarded for his dedication to using STEM to improve students’ employability skills, Robert has been responsible for over 6,000 engagement activities at the school over the past three years.
- Broxburn Academy in West Lothian, Scotland won the Most Dedicated STEM Club. The weekly STEM Club is for students from 11-16 years old and is led by Physics teacher, Scott Bryce who set it up five years ago to improve engagement with STEM both inside and outside of the classroom.
- ST Robotics, an SME in Cambridge, makes bench top robots for use in industry. It was awarded the Most Dedicated Employer for developing a robotics project for schoolchildren (at their own cost) that they are rolling out to schools in Cambridge.
Kirsten Bodley, STEMNET, Chief Executive, said:
“At STEMNET we look to create opportunities for young people to be inspired by Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The work we do with our partners every year helps more than 600,000 young people and leverages over £7m into STEM support for schools and colleges through in-kind support from employers and volunteers. We could not do this without the help of some of the most enthusiastic, energetic and inspirational individuals and organisations working in STEM. These awards are designed to reward them and encourage others in the sector to see the benefit of offering their time to motivate the next generation.”
STFC CEO Prof John Womersley said:
“Government investment in STEM mixed with the support of schools, employers and individuals has helped to increase awareness of the possibilities available in science, technology, engineering and maths. Young people have responded to this with great positivity. There was a dramatic 36.1% rise in young people taking GCSE science in 2012 and the increasing popularity of maths now sees 10% of all A Level entries being in the subject. A large part of this is down to the dedication of individuals like those we celebrate today. Their continued support is essential if we want to effectively communicate the virtues of STEM to today’s young people, to show them what these skills can bring them and how they can open up new and exciting career paths.”
Throughout September, members of the UK’s huge network of people dedicated to inspiring young people in STEM nominated themselves or others. During this time STEMNET received over 150 nominations and were overwhelmed with the dedication to engaging young people in STEM subjects displayed by individuals and organisations across the UK.
Elizabeth Orchard, Assistant Civil Engineer, Peter Brett Associates and Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador:
“I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. I volunteer as a STEM Ambassador because I love my job and want to share that with young people. This award will motivate me to keep helping young people into careers in engineering, particularly through developing employability-focused academic curricula, such as the one I’m contributing to for a new University Technical College in Reading.”