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Young people need to be encouraged into STEM, argues Welsh minister

11 Jul 2017
Young people need to be encouraged into STEM, argues Welsh minister

A Cardiff-based social enterprise celebrated its 15th birthday at the Senedd with Welsh Government ministers and schoolchildren from across the UK in attendance.

science made simple took to the National Assembly of Wales on Wednesday 5th July to celebrate all the organisation has achieved over 15 years, with guests speakers highlighting the importance of encouraging young people, especially girls, to pursue careers in STEM subjects.

Speaking at the event, founder and Director Wendy Sadler MBE, said: “This is a very important day for us. Not only is it about raising a toast to the last 15 years, but about the impact our work can have on young people. It is unbelievably satisfying that we can reflect on the last 15 years and see what a difference we have made.”

The social enterprise, which employs 17 staff, works with primary and secondary schools by developing and presenting interactive performances for pupils in order to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. science made simple has worked in over 30 countries across the world, breathing life into STEM subjects for thousands of young people.

The event, which had 200 in attendance, saw Minister for Skills and Science Julie James AM endorse science made simple: “Never before have STEM subjects been so important to the future of our country. There is a shortage of pupils pursuing careers in science and engineering, especially females. science made simple’s vision of getting young people to think creatively about science and engineering is critical if we are to achieve parity in these areas. Thank you, science made simple. Keep up the good work, because we need you.”

Event sponsor David Rees AM addressed attendees and underlined how significant the work the organisation does, specifically with young people: “Wendy and her committed team have dedicated the last 15 years making science not just simple, but fun. The impassioned work that science made simple has cleverly crafted inspires the minds of young, budding scientists and engineers.”

In the build up to the event, science made simple had launched a competition for people to enter a short film about their experiences and passion for science.

There were three categories for primary schoolchildren, secondary schoolchildren and adults. Each winner would receive £250 in prize money, with £200 of the total going to science in schools.

The winners in the respective categories were sisters Jacky (6) and Josey (6) Kean, Poppy Oxberry (12) and Craig Sinclair (27).

“From the entries, what stood out was the quality and ability to communicate science in a fun and simple way. Poppy, Craig, Jacky and Josey really grasped the essence of what we were looking for. We hope that the prize money goes some way towards inspiring them, and the children’s schools, into delving deeper into science that both stimulates and engages with people.”

 Wendy, who set up science made simple in 2002 from her base at Cardiff University, has recently been awarded the prestigious MBE honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List after inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, as well as encouraging young women to become engaged in STEM learning.

science made simple reaches over 70,000 young people each year from their Cardiff HQ and additional 3 regions in Manchester, Norwich and Milton Keynes. The company offers science communication and public engagement training using a range of innovative formats ranging from science busking, to non-verbal physical theatre performances.

For more information on science made simple please visit www.sciencemadesimple.co.uk, call 029 2087 6884, email info@sciencemadesimple.co.uk and follow science made simple of Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.