Swansea University’s Science for Schools Scheme (S4) was named the winner of the STEM Educational Programme of the Year in the Public Sector category at this year’s Wales STEM Awards.
The S4 team received the award in recognition of their work in delivering high-impact STEM outreach to young people in South Wales. The team works with underserved and underrepresented communities, specifically children from low-income families, in areas of long-term unemployment and low participation in HE.
The Wales STEM Awards celebrate the innovative STEM work being undertaken in Wales to address the diversity gap and skills shortage and inspire the next generation. The ceremony saw finalists from across Wales compete for 12 awards in a variety of categories, ranging from STEM Start-Up of the Year, to Innovation in STEM.
S4’s Dr Will Bryan said:
“The S4 team are very proud to have their activities recognised by the Wales STEM Awards 2022, particularly in a category which was, according to the judges, hotly contested. We work with young people from the most socio-economically disadvantaged schools and thus contribute to Wales’ and higher education’s civic mission.
"Such an award from an external body means a great deal to everyone involved in this project and has been warmly welcomed by project partners and stakeholders. S4 has provided STEM engagement for, or worked collaboratively with, organisations which include: the British Bird of Prey Centre, National Botanic Gardens Wales, Skills Cymru, The National Waterfront Museum, The Greenman Festival, Swansea Tree Forum, The Woodland Trust, the Institute of Physics Wales and over fifty regional schools.
"This award recognises our activities over the last year, hence the transition from remote back to in-person delivery of our events and activities, an example of which being the 1,300 local Key Stage 2 and 3 schoolchildren we hosted at the Taliesin theatre in October 2022.”
Professor Mary Gagen said:
“Since 2012, S4 has secured over £3 Million of funding (Welsh National Science Academy 2012, 2013, 2015, ESF/Welsh Government 2018). We are currently funded via the pan-Wales Trio Sci Cymru (TSC) programme. Participants (pre-pandemic) attended STEM workshops on campus, gaining an understanding of university life which our schools tell us is critical to widening access to STEM and higher education. S4 developed a STEM public engagement framework based around our model of building ‘science confidence’. In terms of business advantage, our public engagement showcases Welsh science research to large and varied audiences, and our participants get the chance to experience becoming the Welsh scientists of the future ”