Manchester winners of the STEM inspiration awards visit CERN

Competition winners from across the UK, including those from Manchester-based Siemens and Mott MacDonald, recently enjoyed an exclusive trip to visit CERN in Switzerland.

This unique opportunity was in recognition of the winners’ success at the 2019 STEM Inspiration Awards. The Siemens SeeMe project won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. It was represented by Brenda Yearsley, School and Education Development Manager for Siemens UK, on the 5 November at a prestigious House of Lords event. Ruth Shevelan, an OCS Design Engineer, represented Mott MacDonald who were presented with the Innovation in STEM Inspiration award

Awarded by STEM Learning and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the STEM Inspiration awards celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations who inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects throughout education and into STEM careers.

The prize included a tour of the facilities at CERN including part of the renowned Large Hadron Collider as well as the opportunity to see cutting edge science in action and meet expert engineers, technicians and physicists from across the facility. The visit was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKRI.

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI said: “A key part of UKRI’s mission is to inspire the next generation of researchers and innovators.

“We were delighted to have offered this once in a lifetime opportunity to this year’s STEM Inspiration Awards winners in recognition of their dedication and commitment to encouraging young people’s enjoyment of, and participation in, STEM.”

Reflecting on the trip, Brenda Yearsley said: “CERN is science at its most awe inspiring best. Seeing scientists, engineers and technicians from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world coming together to solve some of the fundamental questions of existence has been fascinating, and their enthusiasm has been infectious.

“I can’t wait to share our experiences with the children and young people that we work with, and hopefully inspire the next generation of researchers and innovators.”

Ruth said: “The opportunity to visit CERN was honestly an experience of a lifetime. Every aspect of the facility was inspiring, a place where cutting edge science is made possible through true international collaboration. From the experience I will be taking back the knowledge of many more careers available to students in science and technology and stories of the fascinating work being undertaken that they too could be a part of.”

Applications for this year’s 2020 STEM Inspiration Awards opened on 3 February and will be running until the 6 April 2020.