Did you know that W5 coordinates the STEM Ambassador Hub in Northern Ireland? We manage a database of over 1,300 professionals with STEM skills who have volunteered to promote science, technology, engineering and maths in local schools.
The STEM Ambassador Programme is a UK-wide initiative and free of charge service to schools and youth groups, which aims to encourage young people to have an interest in studying and following a career in STEM subjects. STEM Ambassadors not only have the opportunity to enrich and enhance the learning experience for young people, but individuals who volunteer as STEM Ambassadors can also develop new skills and gain increased work satisfaction.
Iain Bryson and Deborah Brown are just two of our fantastic volunteers on the STEM Ambassador Programme. We caught up with Iain and Deborah to find out about their own experiences as STEM Ambassadors.
Name: Iain Bryson & Deborah Brown
Job/Background: Statisticians in Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA)
Why did you both become a STEM Ambassador?
“We wanted to make a difference, so that students see and think of maths and statistics in a different way.” Iain
“Personally, we get such a buzz from the enthusiasm of the students and through feedback we know that we have been successful in our aim.” Deborah
What is your favourite thing about being an Ambassador?
“The students. When we first go into the presentation, the students are engaged but reserved and by the end we have almost 100% increase in volume by encouraging students to shout out and be involved!” Iain
What does STEM mean to you?
“The STEM Ambassador Programme allows us to share our maths, engineering and psychology experiences with young people and breathe life into the subjects where we can. Maths is so important in the real world and often students don’t realise just how much maths they naturally do every day.” Iain
“We try to show the beauty of maths and statistics all around us and to show students how it improves their logical thinking processes. If through our input, students decide to take up maths and science then that is our success story and has made the programme worthwhile.” Deborah
Who is your favourite scientist and why?
“My favourite scientist is Leonardo Da Vinci as he was a painter, architect, inventor, and the very first ‘Renaissance man’.” Iain
“My favourite scientist is Nikola Tesla who designed AC electricity, dynamos, hydro, induction motors and his aim was to search and find a way to share and provide free energy throughout the world.” Deborah
Our STEM Ambassadors play an essential role in inspiring and engaging the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians and technologists. If you would like to register as a STEM Ambassador or find out more about the programme click here.
Iain Bryson & Deborah Brown