Contributed by STEMPOINT East
16/04/2021 - STEMPOINT East
Inspirational tech ‘gurus’ from Suffolk are fronting a campaign launched by educational charity, STEMPOINT East. The #BuildTheirDream campaign encourages schools and businesses to bring science and technology to life for young people.
With 2021 placing the spotlight on the importance of science and technology in the most impactive way, STEMPOINT East is offering online sessions for schools and colleges in the eastern region, in efforts to make STEM a priority for the professionals of tomorrow.
Educational inputs are provided via the charity through STEM ambassadors such as 20-year-old Stephanie Bally from Felixstowe. Stephanie is an applied research degree apprentice at BT and is undertaking a degree in Digital and Technology Solutions at Exeter University, funded through BT. Stephanie is in year three of her four-year degree course, studying a combination of computer science, business and maths whilst working within BT’s various applied research teams
STEM ambassador and entrepreneur Geraint Thomas from Norton near Stowmarket helps organisations solve their problems with the use of cutting edge technology, through his consultancy, Guided Innovation. Specialising in the health and social care sector, he supports companies such as care home operators and charities to improve their processes or refine their services.
Stephanie and Geraint give up their time to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and maths, by providing bespoke inputs to schools and colleges or through mentoring and project support.
Their stories are now being shared as part of the #BuildTheirDream campaign, aimed at showcasing the careers of some of STEMPOINT East’s team of 3,500 ambassadors.
Through the Ambassador network, STEMPOINT East is offering bespoke online sessions for primary and secondary schools, giving talks to young people about the diverse range of careers available in the sector.
Stephanie, who was inspired to apply to work at BT after undertaking work experience there herself said, “Technology is a huge part of everyone’s life, especially the younger generation. Snapchat filters, for instance, are using augmented reality. Netflix and other streaming services are using machine learning algorithms to provide suggested shows for users to watch. Future technologies are being integrated more and more into our everyday lives and we need young people to be inspired and excited about this!”
“Ambassadors can show all students the fun in learning what is behind these future technologies, and prove that it isn’t that scary. The truth is, ultimately, anyone can be part of changing and enhancing how the world uses technology, they just need to know where to start. STEM ambassadors are vital for spreading that message!”
Geraint explains, “I really want young people to pick up technology as a career choice. As someone that ‘does technology’ in an unusual sector, I hope I show people that it offers way more choice and flexibility then they may have imagined. It’s not all network and server management – you could fly a drone for a living, you could be developing the next global vaccine or creating a beauty product. The opportunities are endless.”
STEM ambassadors agree to volunteer a number of hours to STEM education per year, working independently or supported by their employer. Businesses are also therefore being asked to consider encouraging their members of staff to get involved and shine a light on the multitude of career paths available within the STEM sector.
Geraint and Stephanie’s #BuildTheirDream STEM ambassador stories will be shared on the STEMPOINT East website and across its social media channels.
Anyone interested in accessing online learning inputs for their school should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A range of pre-recorded materials and online workshops are also available.
The STEM Ambassador programme is organised nationally through STEM Learning. Anyone interested in signing up as an Ambassador or learning more about how staff can become involved should contact either Helen Spencer or see https://www.stem.org.uk/
Further information on STEMPOINT East is available at www.stempointeast.org.uk
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