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Youth STEMM awards celebrate acheivements in critical fields

PUBLISHED: 21:35 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 21:35 27 June 2017

Maddie Moate and Marty Jopson. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

Maddie Moate and Marty Jopson. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

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Over 200 students celebrated their achievements in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) at a special awards ceremony on June 26 at The Forum.

YSA co-founder Samantha Fox, Maddie Moate, Marty Jopson, YSA co-founder Simon Fox. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography. YSA co-founder Samantha Fox, Maddie Moate, Marty Jopson, YSA co-founder Simon Fox. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

The celebration showcased the hard work of students across the year with certificates and medals presented to 90 youngsters by two of the award scheme’s patrons, Maddie Moate (CBeebies presenter and YouTube educator), and Marty Jopson (BBC One Show science presenter and author).

Both gave talks as well as handing out the Bronze and Silver awards in front of an audience that included families, teachers and STEMM professionals.

The Youth STEMM Award is an achievement-based award for students in Years 9-13, designed to support and inspire the next generation of STEMM professionals and help address the UK’s skills shortage in these fields. Participants log STEMM-related activities across four core strands on a personalised e-portfolio. Students can work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold level Award, and learn how to inspire the next generation, engage the public, develop skills and shape their future career in the STEMM sector.

John Innes Centre (JIC) scientist Samantha Fox and secondary school principal Dr Simon Fox launched the scheme in Norfolk in 2015. It has inspired hundreds of students in schools the region and is now open to schools across the UK.

Some YSA medal winners, with Maddie Moate and Marty Jopson and co-founders Samantha and Simon Fox. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography Some YSA medal winners, with Maddie Moate and Marty Jopson and co-founders Samantha and Simon Fox. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography

Marty Jopson, who also demonstrated the science behind a bull-whip crack said: “I’m excited by the potential the YSA offers to students in the UK, we live in a scientific and technological world, encouraging young people to take an interest and maybe a career in STEMM has never been more important.”

Kate Nichols, Assistant Headteacher at City of Norwich School, said: “After taking part, students are more independent and have a better understanding of the type of STEMM careers and opportunities around them. Students have entered themselves for national competitions and been rewarded for their efforts. It’s great to celebrate STEMM in schools and co-ordinate activities on a county scale.”

Some of the region’s most prestigious organisations are supporting the scheme, including the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Centre and The Forum. The YSA is working closely with the Norwich Science Festival and many events in this October’s programme will count towards the Award for next year’s cohort. A new element of the scheme, YSA Juniors, aimed at younger children, will be piloted at the Festival. Interested schools are encouraged to get in touch.

Samantha Fox said: “We have been so impressed with the dedication and commitment shown by so many young people in completing their Youth STEMM Award this year. When we reviewed the students’ portfolios we were excited and encouraged by the amount of time and energy young people are putting into developing their future career paths. With hundreds more students signed up for next year we can’t wait to see what this next generation of STEMM professionals can achieve.”

To find out more about the Youth STEMM Award and get involved, visit ysawards.co.uk.

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