Surrey is making international waves after STEMAZING, a homegrown social value initiative backed by Amey, Surrey’s waste collection partner, has inspired women and children in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Tunisia in only a matter of weeks since it was launched.
STEMAZING’s Inspiration Academy is a four-month online course designed to empower women as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) role models, enhance their public engagement skills and increase their confidence in delivering STEM sessions.
The course, which is the brainchild of Oxted resident and former Amey engineer, Alexandra Knight, culminates in the StemazingWomen Role Models delivering a six-week STEM course for 5 – 9-year-olds, that includes fun activities like making a jet-powered car out of paper, a balloon, straw and wooden skewers, and lava lamps using vegetable oil, water, food colouring and an Alka Seltzer tablet.
Originally developed for women and children in the UK, details of the course quickly made their way via social media to women engineers and schools in Africa, where a variety of approaches will be used to engage children in these STEM activities that blend science, creativity and fun, from Zoom sessions to children home schooling, to sessions on a Sunday at Church groups, to STEM summer camps.
Sponsored by Amey and other science-led initiatives including World Refrigeration Day, STEMAZING is now calling for further sponsorship in order to help fund the resources children locally in Surrey, the UK and overseas need to participate in the programme.
On the Inspiration Academy’s rapid rise, Alexandra comments: “The funding from our sponsors has enabled us to effectively build the programme’s foundations and now we want to make the course even more accessible both overseas and at home, particularly for schools that have a high percentage of families who qualify for free school meals. For only £5.50 per person, which covers the basic materials needed to participate in the experiments, we can help more children become STEM heroes.”
Closer to home, Stephanie Phipps, Safety, Compliance and Transport Manager at Amey in Surrey, is one of STEMAZING’s first cohort. On completion of the initial stages, she will engage young children across a selection of Surrey schools.
On her experience with STEMAZING she adds: “When you’re focussed on your own career it’s easy to forget that there are a large number of young women out there who simply don’t think a career in science is even an option for them. Amey’s support for STEMAZING is helping to overturn this misconception by empowering women within the business and encouraging them to become more confident and forward in the workplace. I’m excited to be a part of this first cohort and thrilled to see that it’s impacting women and children in other continents, too.”
Sunita Dulai, Account Director for Transport Infrastructure at Amey, is one of the role models that is also lending her support and expertise to the programme www.stemazingltd.com/meetawomaninstem
Women in STEM and primary schools interested in taking part in the STEMAZING Inspiration Academy can register their interest at www.stemazingltd.com/inspiration-academy. Individuals and business wishing to support STEMAZING’s work overseas can do so by contacting Alexandra Knight on Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Amey and the other social value initiatives they are involved with, visit www.amey.co.uk/social-value