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British Science Association news: June 2010

Ollie Christophers on competitions and winners


Two worthy causes in the STEM community have been brought together to create a new competition with the aim of encouraging more women in the field of STEM to take up opportunities in the ‘green’ sector of the industry.

GreenSTEM is an initiative that helps unemployed female science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates. Help is provided to develop innovative business ideas for green-themed products and services; receive training in business, communication, web and marketing skills; form networks and contacts; and present their concepts to public and businesses.

Participation in the programme will culminate in a Dragon’s Den type competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 (15–21 November), where participants will be able to present their ideas to a panel of business people, green workers and members of the public.  The winner of the competition will receive the title of GreenSTEM Entrepreneur 2010 and a cash prize.

The scheme is open to new graduates and women wishing to return to work after a career break. GreenSTEM is funded by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and is run by the LeicestHerDay Trust and the British Science Association in association with the University of Leicester.

Impressed with CREST

Year 1 of the DCSF-funded CREST Expansion Project has been a fantastic success. The Association is receiving targeted support from the DCSF in order to deliver increased participation in CREST in England over a two-year period (starting April 2009). The funding focuses on schools with a high proportion of high-achieving or potentially high-achieving Key Stage (KS) 3 and KS4 students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

During Year 1, over 150 schools engaged with CREST for the first time. Bronze and Silver CREST Award registrations have increased by a massive 24 per cent. We are now evaluating the past year’s progress, to see how Year 2 can be even better.

Award Lecture winners

Each year, the British Science Association honours five outstanding young communicators with the opportunity to present a prestigious Award Lecture at the British Science Festival.

The Award Lectures are a rare opportunity to honour five professional scientists or engineers in the early stages of their career, who show outstanding skills in communication to a non-specialist audience.

This year the winners are, for the Charles Darwin Award: Jessica Grahn for 'Hit me with your rhythm schtick – the connection between music, movement and the brain.'  For the Lord Kevin Award: Suzie Sheehy for 'The Big Bang dilemma'. For the Charles Lyell Award: Sarah Bell for 'Watering Thirsty Cities'. For the

Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award: Mark Young for 'Letting George do it: Are we over-automating our lives?' And for the Joseph Lister Award: Nick Lee for 'Can marketers control your mind?'

Come and see them in action at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, 14 -19  September.

The British Science Festival Student Bursary Scheme

The Festival bursary scheme offers students aged 18 or above the opportunity to attend the Festival, the largest annual public science festival in Europe. 

Institutions and companies have the chance to sponsor students at a greatly reduced cost of £350. Deadline for orders is Friday 16 July 2010.

Going places

We are delighted to announce that Michelle Masson, previously Head of Charity Accounts at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, has been appointed as Director of Finance and Resources to succeed John Gagg.

John Gagg is leaving us to take his well earned retirement. Since he joined us nearly 10 years ago, he has been an integral part of Association. He will be greatly missed by us all.

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Ollie Christophers
Ollie Christophers is the British Science Association’s Communications Officer
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