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Kirsty Blossoms as her STEM Activities Take Root

Posted by Calico UK - 10:32 on 27 March 2019

Calico's Kirsty Pryer has been going back to school in her role as a STEM Ambassador

Here's a little interview with her about her recent activities.

Q: What is a STEM Ambassador?

STEM Ambassadors volunteer their time, enthusiasm and experiences to encourage and inspire young people to achieve more and progress further in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Q: Why did you decide to become one?

I saw postings on Girl Geek's twitter feed about the statistics relating to girls and women going into careers in IT and wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help improve things. Not just for girls, but for boys too. It's to develope their interest in computers, technology and to encourage them to study those related subjects in school and further education.

Q: What happened after you contacted Girl Geek Scotland?

From there I was referred to the STEM Ambassador scheme in the North of Scotland, which is run by the Aberdeen Science Centre.

I went through the induction process, and was PVG certified. Then I was free to volunteer for activities in local schools.

I can build relationships with guidance staff and teachers at schools to work on something in particular or I can volunteer for requests that come into the database.

Stem Learning offers advice and training to help with volunteering. For instance I recently attended a workshop about presenting skills.

Q: What activities have you taken part in so far?  For example over the last 18 months?

  • At Fortrose Academy I regularly take part in Mock Interviews as a Tech Employer & do CV reviews. I've also talked to pupils on various topics, including Career Choices, International Women's Day, Safer Internet Day & Online Consent.
  • I have given a career talk at Dingwall Academy about Jobs in IT.
  • At Avoch Primary I gave an IT talk and presentations on Safer Internet Day and Online Consent.
  • I've also talked to UHI Computing students about Careers in IT and my role at Calico.

UHI links have led to us taking on a Foundation Apprentice. Cameron has completed all of his coursework now, and just has a presentation about his work with us to take part in.

The Safer Internet Day talks with Avoch Primary were great fun as I illustrated the nature of the links on the internet by using wool and having pupils play the parts of devices, servers, service providers and networks. We ended up with a big tangled spider web.

This week I'm back at Fortrose Academy to do Mock Interviews. In my last session a couple of months ago, I interviewed a pupil who expressed an interest in film making.  We've now offered him some work experience creating some videos for our new You Tube channel - so watch this space.

Q: Anything else?

I wear a STEM badge on my lapel, and it's often a talking point at business and networking meetings. I find being a STEM ambassador rewarding - I'm giving something back to the community as business woman working in IT.

It also gives us links to young people in terms of work placements.



Q: Where can I get more information?

To join the STEM Ambassador scheme or to find out more, head over to their website.

Also, the Girl Geek Scotland site.

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