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February 2014 Volunteer Spotlight

This quarter we are chatting to Floriane who is a volunteer on our CREST Youth Panel. She attended her first meeting at the British Science Festival in Newcastle, having exhibited her CREST work through the National Science + Engineering Competition the previous March.

Tell us a bit about you and your passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
From a young age science and understanding the way things work was a big interest for me.   I used to read a lot of books about those subjects and found I still continued to love them even though they're not always obviously present in the work that I do. I also have a love for languages and history, but science and maths have always won me over!  I have started my GCSE courses now as I am in year 10, and I decided to take graphic products, French, history and German on top of the compulsory core subjects of Science, Maths, English and RE in my school. In my free time I play a lot of music and, up until the start of this year, I had been working a lot on my CREST project for the National Science + Engineering Competition which was a lot of fun.

With all of that going on, what led you to becoming involved with the Association?
It kind of came naturally with the CREST project which had been organised and arranged by one of my Design and Technology teachers at the time who is fabulous and got me signed up for Bronze award. This linked in well with the National Science + Engineering Competition, and when we got through to the finals we decided to go for the silver award with our work. I love the scheme because it gave us extra incentive in our investigation and it allowed us to be recognised for all the work that went into the project. It also seemed like the perfect scheme that mixed all my favourite subjects together while adding new ones I had not tried before, then giving me an award I could use later in my UCAS applications.

What made you want to volunteer with the CREST Youth ?
I love being on the Youth Panel as well as working on my CREST projects. I wanted to be able to give my opinion on subjects that would affect many people like me, and I felt like I had ideas that would be great to share. I wanted to be involved with something where I would be able to give a fresh perspective on ideas or problems. From promoting students to keeping them involved, there's so much that can be done and I wanted to be a part of that. Being 15 means that to attend the meeting some time is taken out of my school days. As my studies get serious this could potentially cause a problem, but I don't allow it to by staying organised and on top of things.

What do you think has been your greatest achievement through volunteering on the Youth Panel?
I think that advocating Crest and STEM to students in my school has gotten people there - and others I know - to get involved, and this has has been a great thing to do. I love that I can share my ideas and passion for these subjects while hearing from others like me - that has been the most fun.

If you could give advice to students thinking of joining the Youth Panel, what would it be?
Get to it! What are you waiting for? It's a great experience and if you're given the opportunity take it in both hands and don't let go! It's soo fun and it's something new plus it's a place where you help others while giving your opinion and views on things that affect you and many others.