Raising Awareness of STEM

To this end, we’ve spoken to a whole host of scientists, engineers and computer programmers with contacts within EducationCity to find about more about their work and what they enjoy about it most. It was enlightening to say the least, so read on and feel inspired. There’s life-saving analysis, environmental crusades and space exploration to follow.

Ruth, Biomedical Scientist at University Hospitals Bristol

“As a medical scientist, my job is to work out what blood group people have and find them compatible blood for them to have a transfusion. This involves working with other departments, such as theatres, obstetrics and oncology, to ensure patients receiving transfusions and transplants are given the safest, most efficient and highest level of care.

“In order to do this, I studied Chemistry, Biology and Maths at school, then took a degree in Biomedical Science with a specialisation in haematology or immunohaematology. I’m currently doing a Master’s course in Transfusion and Transplantation Science.

“My aim was always to have a career where I could combine helping people and enjoy the science side too. I find it very rewarding knowing that I am making a difference in the care of our patients, and ultimately play a part in saving people’s lives.”

Steve, Founder of Clean Ocean Sailing

“The aim of Clean Ocean Sailing is to clean up the seas and beaches by sail, to educate people about the dangers of plastic waste, research and promote alternatives, and research and experiment with ways to repurpose the plastic waste we collect.

“I am the founder of the company and started out studying Mechanical Engineering. I use the STEM knowledge I’ve gained in everything I do: I use engineering principles, for example, to create winches to help me lift and recover junk; from a technology perspective, I continually improvise to transport the waste I find; on a science front, I have to identify the different plastic polymer types and understand their strengths and weaknesses to repurpose them. An understanding of maths is essential too, to help us plan our clean-up adventures, record our findings, and present numbers and weights of the rubbish we collect.

“It’s totally awesome to be out there exploring our wonderful coast and cleaning it up as we go. I get to give our wide range of marine life a better chance of living and thriving, and reduce the danger of birds getting entangled in nets or ingesting plastic waste. It’s very challenging and very, very hard work but does bring with it rewards. We’ve had our work recognised by Friends of the Earth, which is great, but it’s the experience of personally saving birds’ and animals’ lives that means the most to me.

“I’ve always loved STEM, and using these subjects with skill, passion and imagination can literally change the world for the better. What could be cooler than that?”

Abbey, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Student

“My name is Abbey, and I am studying STEM subjects for my degree. At my university, I am a part of a team that is building a Mars Rover to test on Earth. Our rover can do lots of cool things like pick up and test rocks, drive all by itself, and type on a keyboard.

“I love engineering because I get to take all the tools and knowledge I’ve learned in school, from physics and programming to screwdrivers and saws, to solve problems in creative ways.

“Robots are an exciting development that are already making the world better by helping us with tasks that are too dangerous or difficult to do ourselves. They can rescue people trapped in buildings and help doctors perform surgery. The only limitation to the use of robotics is our imagination. Being able to work on this technology has been really rewarding and, excitingly, given me the opportunity to intern at NASA in Houston this autumn, where I’ll be able to use my skills to further the pursuit of human spaceflight!”

Inspired? We are! Ready to take the first steps on your students’ STEM journey this STEM Clubs Week? Then, head to our free STEM Lesson Plan Pack, jam-packed with Lesson Plans and worksheets, to help you start building your students’ skills and appetite to explore and test the world around them!