Virtual Reality creates Bright Stars

Many people ask me about Virtual STEM work now we are able to go back into schools. So here is an example of how you can make it work and the advantages…

During Covid I set up Primary Voices and advertised it as a virtual assembly on the STEM Ambassador Hub *. Since it was virtual I received interest country wide including St James CE Junior at Barrow in Furness.

* you too can become a STEM Ambassador.

The assembly went well and we agreed to do more together including Bright Stars, which would normally be an 8 week programme in school. I did 7 of the weeks virtually and the last one in person.

So what was better?

For me the virtual absolutely had a place and with enthusiasm and encouraging interaction I still truly built up a relationship with the class. So much so when I arrived at the school for my final Bright Stars session I was greeted with a banner, a wonderful hand made cards and lots of smiles and cuddles.

This last in person session was the highlight. Whilst there students showed my videos and told me all the things they learned including teamwork, finances, marketing and because not everything went well resilience.

The whole experience has reinforced my belief that virtual is here to stay, especially when you listen to how much the students got out of the programme in Episode 14.

Well don’t take my word for it judge for yourself from the St James blogs and podcasts.

Photos from School Web Page showing how engaged they were during virtual sessions, working to create and operate their Smoothie business and my final visit where I was presented with the most wonderful card.

PODCASTs… Virtual Episode 7 and in person Episode 14

The Queens Baton

Thank you to our fantastic Climate Champion Julie Harrison for nominating me to carry the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton on behalf of everyone who contributes to Engineering Together and out associated groups. I had a wonderful time and I was inspired by my fellow Baton Bearers who each had a unique story of inspiring and community spirit.

Encouraging active involvement

I recently had the pleasure of being asked to write in the international publication New Civil Engineer. Although this is very much targeted at UK members of the Institution of Civil Engineers it is in fact very relevant to all institutions and groups.

The time has never been better to encourage more people to get involved to enhance the great work being done as well as your own CV. And as you will see from the ICE’s experience is will likely make you happier and start engaging like you have always said you wanted to 🙂

I do hope you enjoy reading the encouraging messages that we are heading in the right direction. And more importantly consider that this really can be a trigger to get you help accelerate positive change in your industry.

Get in touch with your institution or indeed feel free to get in touch with us.

Trustee’s View | The opportunity you have been waiting for… | New Civil Engineer

Helping with High Tides’ digital growth

I am pleased to support this great local foundation as a Trustee. The digital offering continues to grow helping young people in the Tees Valley even greater access to inspiration.

This website has lots of resources and offers virtual work experiences in many sectors.

High Tide Foundation – For Young People on Teesside High Tide set to rise, with key appointments and plans for digital growth – High Tide Foundation – Working to Inspire and Empower the Teesside of Tomorrow

2021 Reflection

Reflecting on another difficult year as Chair I am extremely proud of what we have achieved.  

My personal highlights include:

  • Our series with After The Pandemic which has given the youth a voice regarding climate change
  • Our extremely well attended and well watched event on Menopause which is helping people to show they are not alone
  • Unsolicited feedback including Alice’s family which demonstrates the impact of the website
  • Working together to get the Transporter Bridge Award reinitiated which has allowed our region to shout about our talent
  • Our amazing In It Together series which helped lots of people with practical skills and confidence
  • And all the way back to January (seems much more than 11 months ago!) we announced our first competition winners

And of course we were shortlisted as Best New Community Champions in the first ever Best New Tees Business Awards and featured in WES’s December issue of The Women Engineer.

I hope 2022 is a good year for us all.


Giving the Youth a Voice

I jumped at the chance to work together with After the Pandemic to provide a platform for young people to have a voice in and around COP26.

Working with ATP to agree topics I then set off to develop the ‘Together we have one voice’ series.

The four events saw students from the north east of England and Scotland get together like never before for this exciting project. Current students and former students from 8 separate schools, colleges and universities took part.

Many of them have since gone onto further collaborations and STEM work proving that we can all inspire each other 🙂

All are available on the dedicated EngTog/ATP YouTube channel but also on the ATP COP26 Channel.

Going in circles – Frustrations about wasteful past generations.  Waste prevention through the circular economy.

City Design for tomorrow – How can cities be more inclusive to communities? What the future holds?

What future will you leave for me? – Concerns of young people. What changes are needed in your town?

Are we training for a greener future? What skills are needed to enable action? Is my education fit for the future?

Some of the key messages from our wonderful panellists and chairs…

I’m BUZZing

I do get to do some fabulous things. This one was a personal fave…

I got to speak at the same event as Dallas Campbell and Andy Aldrin AND got photos with my Lottie Books (and it was you can see how super-chuffed I was!) AND got some wonderful feedback.

What a day!