Not long ago we were there. Sitting in a classroom, our whole world was summarised in classes, classmates and playground fun. We did not know any career other than our parents’ or what we watched on TV. It is a simple and happy life. Then somebody walks into the room and starts telling us about Science. It may seem the smallest thing but it can have the biggest impact. We may not realise but a visit to a school, displaying experiments in the local museum or helping children through their homework can actually be a turning point in their lives.

Several researchers defend that most future jobs are yet to be invented. This is very exciting but it also means that we need open-minded, ingenious and creative individuals. It is our social responsibility to inspire and help future generations. Maths and Physics may not have the best reputation amongst pupils but this is mainly because of not being aware of their potential. However both subjects can easily be presented in the form of fun and entertaining experiments. Just walking into a class, making pupils notice that Science is everywhere can be an eye-opener.

This task may seem tough at first, when some children and young adults are not keen on listening to anything related to Science. However, once we engage them, you can see the interest sparking. When children choose a career they tend to follow in their parents’ footsteps. While this may be the right choice for some, why not get them out of this comfort zone by exposing them to Engineering? If we do not inspire children at the right age we risk missing the talent of potential scientists, engineers or even astronauts.

At our local Warwick site we recently held Science Week, running STEM events at three local schools. Our theme was the Mars Rover. Meanwhile the Space Agency was requesting STEM ambassadors to collect UK pupils’ questions to Tim Peake, the first British ESA Astronaut who would answer a selection from Space. We took this rare opportunity to collect questions as it was an ideal match to our theme. When presenting the initiative to the pupils, asking them to write a question, we could not help but wonder if we were in front of the next British astronaut. Could it not be possible that learning from the Principia mission and being presented to such a role model could get them researching the topic and seeing their school subjects differently?

It may seem a long-shot or way off the mark, however we need to remember what inspired us as youngsters and why we chose our degree. Would our life be different if we had had the chance to speak to someone from a different background? We have the immense luck to be part of a diverse and innovative company which actively supports STEM. We should take this chance to inspire others too. What if the next breakthrough scientists just need a little motivation? There are many brilliant young minds waiting.

By Carmen Zaragoza Moreno, Siemens