15 Aug 2017

Inspiring young people into STEM

We’re incredibly pleased to announce a creative partnership with SmartSTEMs.

We’re great fans of Seric Systems’ initiative SmartSTEMs, supporting young women to get into STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) industries. We’ve known Stuart and Karen at Seric Systems for a long time now and love their mission: to inspire young people, women in particular, into STEM and thereby create a more socially mobile, meritocratic, and diverse Scotland.

Doing the Mexican wave

SmartSTEMs host outstanding events, in partnership with educational institutes, where they bring young people, their parents, and their teachers together to learn more about what STEM looks like in practice. This is taught hands-on by a range of passionate tutors who run creative thinking exercises. It hits home because people connect the logic and theory behind STEM-based topics to their practical application.

I’ve been there myself, back in 2015 at Glasgow Caledonian University. We got 500 young people to do a Mexican wave and I spoke about the importance of design in making the world a better place. The energy was electrifying and it was inspiring to see everyone’s eyes light up when they thought: “hang on, I never considered maths or computing like this before”. When young people think something is cool, half the job is done.

Taking over the world

We’re going to be working with SmartSTEMs over the next couple of months to help them map out a smoother process and look at how we can design this initiative for scale. Can we make SmartSTEMs go beyond Scotland and, as Stuart says, ‘Take over the world’?

We’re now learning how they do what they do, how it can be expanded, and how the process can be easier for them to run and use. We’ve already started to map out the user journey of how SmartSTEMs works, and are currently building up the service based on user needs, from young people to volunteers, exhibitors to teachers.

As a friend and collaborator, I feel proud to work with Stuart and Karen. I know our brilliant team, Keira and Harriet, are going to help make SmartSTEMs goals happen. They’ve been researching the end-to-end process as well as attending SmartSTEMs events, speaking to everyone and anyone about their role at the event.

Get involved

If you think you can help SmartSTEMs out in any way and contribute to inspiring young people into STEM: fund it, volunteer at it, host it – get in touch with them. They work tirelessly out of their own pocket to make this a reality and we salute them for that.