Category: Stem youth work

New Year’s Honours

New Year’s Honours

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is looking forward to what the new year brings them, or at least what it brings once the hangover subsides…

With it being New Years Day it seemed appropriate to blog about the Women in STEM who have been awarded Honours this New Year’s. I wanted to know more about each individual so thought I’d research and add some flesh to their stories, allowing others to also find out more too. Rather than use titles or level of Honour to order them, I have simply ordered them by their surname:

Margherita Joan Biller; For services to Mathematics in Further Education. Margherita is Head of Mathematics at York College, and taught mathematics prodigy Daniel Lightwing, after whom the main character of the film A Brilliant Young Mind was modelled. (Yorkshire!)

Susan Elizabeth Black; For services to Technology. Susan is an Honorary Senior Research Associate in Computer Science at University College London. She is a computer coding activist, author of Saving Bletchley Park and participated in the BBC series ‘Girls can code‘.

Click here to read about the other fifteen women in STEM to receive honours!

Conference Keynote: Angela Brady

s1w-5rq9Sorry for the massive delay in writing my next Sustainability Conference blog post. Life, hockey, youth group running and Christmas preparations have got in the way.

Angela Brady’s talk, of Brady Mallalieu Architects, was two fold. Firstly she spoke of true ecological and sustainable design, but this wasn’t the part that truly inspired me.

The second part of the talk was what really excited me! It was all about the collaboration required with education and it inspired the following teaching activities:

– Use big balloons to visualise how much CO2 on average we currently use in the UK, and compare it to the amount we need to reduce it down to. You could easily use smaller balloons to show what common activities produce too, such as a 10 mile commute.

– Adopt a school is a world-wide initiative that encourages professionals within STEM to adopt a school, and participate in STEM related activities and careers education. This is not a cohesive campaign world-wide campaign, but as with many other simple, yet great ideas it has been picked up in many countries keeping the same principle aim of developing STEM education. Watch out Woodlesford Primary School, I’ll be coming to you in the new year!

– The last idea made me realise exactly where I went wrong in my Architecture degree. Although I gained a 2.1 I was always engineering spaces, rather than creating them. Simply get a pack of straws and some sellotape and instruct the students to create a space. Leave the rest up to them. Some will create rigid structure, some might sellotape a series of straws together to create walls (potentially sloped and curved walls too) A space needn’t have a roof, or even be enclosed, but should simply be created. This activity will help explore the creativity and engineering minds of a youngster and may help differentiate between minds geared more towards architecture and those more scientific or engineering minded.

Let me know if you complete any of these STEM activities. I’ll keep posted about how my adoption of Woodlesford Primary School goes too!