West Mids Education Group chair wins national STEM award

The winners of the STEM Inspiration Awards 2016 were announced on 24 November at a prestigious event at the House of Lords

Joanne outside Westmister with her Award
Joanne outside Westmister with her Award

Joanne Haskins an engineer at Turner Townsend, and chairman of the ICE West Midlands Education and Inspiration group was presented with the 2016 STEM Ambassador Award. The award recognises significant voluntary contributions as a STEM Ambassador and individuals who give their time, expertise and energy free of charge to work with schools, colleges and other groups working with young people, to inspire them in STEM.

The STEM Inspiration Awards recognise the work done by a wide range of people and organisations, to enrich the experience of young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and to promote the STEM agenda. The event, sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), was attended by Ministers, educators and key leaders from industry.

Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive of STEM Learning, said:

"We believe all young people, across the UK, should receive a world-leading STEM education. Many thousands of people and organisations across the UK – from inspiring teachers and STEM Ambassadors, to innovative businesses and school leaders – are working with us to achieve this vision. We're delighted to be able to recognise some of those who are helping young people aim for a bright and exciting future in STEM."

Joanne said: "It is an honour to be named STEM ambassador of the year, there are so many volunteers in the country and the West Midlands participating in excellent school outreach programmes; it is a privilege to work with these volunteers."

"I was fortunate, when I was in 6th form, to attend a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) week-long engineering course where I engaged with engineers from industry; as a consequence I decided to study engineering and joined the profession. I enjoy giving the same opportunities to current students."

Molly McKenzie, Regional Director ICE West Midlands congratulated Joanne and said:

"Civil Engineering provides incredible career opportunities. Our engineers travel the world, bring water to communities and transform lives through providing key infrastructure. Joanne embodies the enthusiasm and professionalism of our members working in the industry. Joanne is a very deserving winner of this award as she dedicates much of her free time to delivering a huge range of STEM activities; from coaching students in maths to demonstrating all the merits of an engineering career to careers teachers. Joanne is always looking for new ways of telling people how amazing her job is and inspiring children and young adults into the profession. We congratulate Jo on this impressive win and congratulate all the other nominees who work so hard for our professions."

Awards were presented in six categories to winners from across the UK, with the Science and Technology Facilities Council is providing winners with an exclusive visit to CERN. Winners will fly to Geneva in January, where they will have the opportunity to see cutting edge science in action, as well as meet with top physicists and engineers from across the facility.

For a full list of both winner and nominees, please visit: www.stem.org.uk/stem-inspiration-winners-2016

For information on the impact of STEM Ambassadors please read our report, also released on 24 November. www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors-report