STEM Ambassadors
Inspiring others

Information for prospective STEM Ambassadors and for schools wanting to request an STEM Ambassador.

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What is the STEM Ambassador Programme?

It is a UK-wide programme  managed by STEM Learning. STEM Sussex, through Canterbury Christ Church University, are the regional coordinators for Sussex.

STEM Ambassadors are a free resource for schools. Individuals volunteer to help inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Volunteers can be all ages and backgrounds, representing thousands of different employers across the UK.

Whether you want to become a STEM Ambassador or you are an educator wanting to request free support, there is information for you below.

I’m thinking of becoming a STEM Ambassador…what are the benefits?

By becoming a STEM Ambassador, you will be fulfilling an important role:

  • You’ll be helping to inform & enthuse teachers & students about studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Help students realise the potential career opportunities STEM subjects open up
  • You’ll be highlighting the importance of these subjects in everyday life.

Of course the benefits are not just one-way, being an Ambassador will have benefits for you:

  • We’re sure that you will find the experience enjoyable and personally rewarding.
  • Helps develop skills such as communication, project management and mentoring, and help boost your confidence in public speaking and working with young people.
  • Participation can also be accredited as Continuing Professional Development with many Professional Institutions, meaning your involvement with the programme can give a real boost to your career.
What kind of activities would I be doing?

As an ambassador you could be involved in mentoring, company visits, classroom support (talks or practical activities), or big events like the Big Bang Fair South East, with young people of all ages. We send out a regular newsletter to our ambassadors detailing current school requests – or you can always offer your services if you’d like to do something specific!

We recognise that most ambassadors have a lot of demands on their time, and we don’t expect you to give up your job! Each ambassador is just asked to do a minimum of one activity a year , but you can get far more involved if you have the time!

I am an employer…what do STEM Ambassadors do?

Being a STEM Ambassador is varied. An individual or group could be mentoring, hosting company visits, taking part in career talks or supporting practical activities in schools and colleges. Equally, you could attend events such as the Big Bang Fair South East or come along to one of our popular networking events.

What are the benefits?
  • Develops communication, project management and mentoring skills
  • Boosts confidence
  • Increases job satisfaction
How can I get involved?

STEM Ambassadors will need to complete induction training and are DBS checked.

You can join the STEM Ambassador Programme by visiting the STEM Learning website and registering.

Once registered and having taken part in an induction, you will get our STEM Ambassador newsletter which details our current school requests – or you can always offer your services if you’d like to do something specific!

For more information, give us a call us on 01293 644178 or get in touch via email: stemsussex@brighton.ac.uk

I am a teacher…what can STEM Ambassadors help with?

  • Setting up, expanding and supporting after-school clubs
  • Careers talks or speed networking events for pupils
  • Network or CPD evenings for teachers
  • Mentoring students undertaking the Extended Project Qualification or CREST Awards
  • Support off-timetable STEM enrichment days
Request a STEM Ambassador

If you’d like support from a STEM Ambassador, please visit the STEM Learning website where you will need to register.

Remember to…

  • Give as much information as possible e.g. the age group, goals etc to help us match you to the most suitable ambassador.

For any queries or concerns, contact us at stemsussex@brighton.ac.uk

Case Study: Alyssia Rose

Graduate Software Engineer, General Dynamics UK Ltd

Why did you become an Ambassador?

I became an ambassador to help bring enthusiasm to students about STEM subjects and show girls that it’s not only boys who enjoy STEM subjects. I also became an ambassador to continue my own learning. Working with students has helped me discover other ways of describing what I do, what I did at university, leading up to university, as well as their ideas and opinions opening my eyes to new ways of doing things, and learning new things to keep up with helping them bring their ideas to fruition.

How much time do you commit to Ambassador activities?

I spend a few hours a week on ambassador activities, along with the occasional day away. I would like to spend more time on activities but I have other commitments to keep. These hours are spilt between planning my sessions with the students on the Engineering Education Scheme and actually supporting with the students.

What activities have you been involved in?

I have been involved in the Engineering Education Scheme. I help a small team of sixth formers with their robotics project which will hopefully get them their Gold CREST award. I have also been a referee for First Lego League at Gatwick Airport.

What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils?

Students get a chance to ask ambassadors about their work and what they do for a living, giving them an insight into potential paths for them and even careers they may not have known about.  Some activities, like the Engineering Education Scheme, give students a chance to go for awards that will help them with university placements and give them the experience to back it up.

Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?

Have fun!  Students will know if something is up and may not be as into the activity as they could be and then potentially not learn as much, or be as attentive. Prepare! Have back up plans in case you get through your plans early or even not as quickly as you thought you would.

Phil Edwards
Director, Weald Technology Ltd

Why did you become an Ambassador?
I was involved in Young Engineers through my employer in the 1990s but as my career developed I drifted away. When I launched our hugely ambitious project to build the world-record challenging electric motorbike in 2012 I did a lot of talks to motorbike and car clubs about it. As I did more and more talks about the project it occurred to me that I had a massive opportunity to do the same with schools. It’s exciting and inspiring, and a super-fast motorbike catches the attention, so I looked around and found STEM Sussex.

How much time do you commit to Ambassador activities?
A lot, and an ever-increasing amount. I appreciate that not everyone can afford to do that, but I have shaped my company, over the last couple of years, into one that does projects in sustainable transport specifically so that we can develop STEM projects from them.

Because I believe in the importance of STEM education so strongly I spend about 20% of my time on STEM related activity – either designing projects or going into schools, and I expect that to expand through 2016 now that we have some interesting projects coming through. If you look at the www.weald-tech.co.uk website it’s the headline on the home page – that’s how much it means.

What activities have you been involved in?
Mostly, to date, I have done a lot of talks about the project. These cover two aspects; firstly, the excitement of top-class motorsport and how we cover every area of STEM in one project, and secondly, how developing this extreme vehicle relates to innovations in future transport and the problems of urban congestion and air-quality. It’s all related to transport in some way.

I have done quite a few careers fairs talking about what it takes to be an engineer and what they get up to, and am now starting to get involved in workshops and projects. I’ve tended to shy away from them previously, feeling more comfortable talking about what I do, rather than helping out ‘hands on’, but I’ve done a couple now and really enjoy them. You can see a more immediate impact.

What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils?
I try to show students that there are a variety of routes into the career; they don’t have to go to university if that’s not right for them – you can enter the profession through an apprenticeship if that’s more appealing and doing that never closes the door to studying further at a later date.

Being a good engineer opens up so many opportunities in such a diverse range of companies, and with the pace of technology development nowadays they’ll never run out of things to do!

I started as an Apprentice Draughtsman and never imagined the variety of roles I’d take on, or the sort of things I’d be involved in.

Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?
Yes, get involved. It’s great fun, and you only need to get involved at whatever level you are comfortable with. There is loads of support, and a huge number of opportunities. Anyone working in a STEM industry should be aware of how we desperately need to encourage more youngsters, and if you can just make one person think about a career that they might not have considered that’s a great result.

Finally, don’t forget that your job might seem like “just what I do” but to lots of people it is fascinating; they’ve probably never given a thought to how that ‘widget’ they can’t live without got designed or made. Be proud and shout about it!

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