Native Scientist “Highly Commended” for promoting STEM education
Native Scientist workshops were “Highly Commended” in the category of Inspirational STEM Engagement Project Award at the prestigious STEM Inspiration Awards, celebrated at the House of Lords.
These awards recognise individuals and organisations working to inspire young people in STEM subjects across the UK and are organised by STEM Learning – the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK.
Judges said: “We were impressed by how the Native Scientist Project helped to improve children's knowledge, remove barriers to participation and engage under-represented groups of students in STEM careers.”
Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive of STEM Learning said: “These people and organisations provide the much needed spark that ignites young people’s enthusiasm for STEM. All our winners have excelled in their fields and I am delighted that we can recognise and celebrate their expertise and passion.”
When receiving the award, Susana Irving, Community Advisor for Native Scientist mentioned: “Such a joy to have received this accolade on behalf of Native Scientist and all the volunteers (Scientists, Academics and Teachers), who devote their time and enthusiasm to inspire children, many of which are from minority backgrounds. Native Scientist is still a small not-for-profit enterprise and to see our work recognised and validated alongside “giants” like Airbus or the centenary RAF... Well, that means a lot!” Ana Faro, Project Manager for Portuguese in England, added that “it was a great honour to represent Native Scientist in the STEM Inspiration Awards Ceremony 2018. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people, that share a great passion and commitment for science education and outreach, made me feel that our efforts are part of a much greater, hopeful picture. I felt particularly happy and proud to be part of a project that celebrates multiculturalism and multilingualism at a time where these values are being challenged.”
Native Scientist was founded in London by two female researchers coming from rural Portugal where access to science was low or non-existent. To mitigate the problem of low science exposure and lack of role models in certain communities, they created an innovative concept of STEM+LANG workshops for migrant pupils that is based on science and language integrated learning and role model education. Every year, 1000 pupils and 150 researchers participate in the Native Scientist workshops, which aim to encourage migrant pupils to consider higher education and STEM careers. Importantly, Native Scientist differs from other outreach or enrichment programmes that take scientists to schools like STEM Ambassadors because (1) it promotes both science and language literacy, and (2) it works with heritage language teachers, reaching pupils living in poverty with low aspirations and few connections in the science world.
STEM Learning is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising young people’s engagement and achievement in STEM, increasing the numbers progressing in STEM studies and STEM-related careers. They are the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and community groups working with young people across the UK and engaging with every secondary school in the UK.