STEMAZING: Promoting & Championing STEM in Society

by STEMAZING Ltd in Oxted, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th April 2020 we successfully raised £4,400 with 60 supporters in 36 days

CROWDFUNDING COMPLETE BUT STILL SUPPORT OR BE INVOLVED, VISIT www.stemazingltd.com. Be Curious Be Creative Be Courageous Flourish with STEM.

by STEMAZING Ltd in Oxted, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

With the extra money I will be able to enhance the pilot projects to reach more kids and raise the profile of STEM further.


Follow on Instagram and FB: @stemazingltd

Twitter: @stemazing1

www.stemazingltd@gmail.com

My story 

I’m a Chartered Engineer and working mum of two young kids. I’ve worked in Industry for over 15 years in various engineering and management roles, but my real passions are; inspiring young people to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers; and supporting women along their STEM journey.

I currently work part time as a Technical Director in Amey Strategic Consulting in London, which is a fantastic engineering company to work for. I am blessed as I work part time and flexibly which gives me the freedom to follow my other passions. In my "spare" time I volunteer to support a number of organisations such as; the Women's Engineering Society (WES) where I am on the Board of Trustees; the Institute of Asset Management (IAM); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) where I am a Fellow and volunteer as a Chartership Assessor; and the British Standards Institute where I represent the UK at International meetings on Asset Management. I am also a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor with Brunel University London. For years I have also been a STEM Ambassador going into schools on a voluntary basis to spread my love of engineering and science. I have also mentored a lot of women in STEM, from university students through to women in their careers in industry.  You can tell I am the kind of person that likes to be busy and contributing to things that make a difference in the World! 

All of these things compliment my engineering career and I am very blessed that I have had so many opportunities and the flexibility to manage my time in a way that suits me and my family.  

However, I want to have a greater impact in the areas that I am most passionate about! I really feel there is a need for more focus on building and sustaining the STEM pipeline if we are going to have any chance of tackling our current and future global challenges. All of the UN Sustainable Development Goals require innovation and solutions that will be underpinned by engineering and technology - from powering our planet with cleaner energy, to clearing up our Oceans polluted with plastics, to creating new healthcare solutions that will improve quality of life for so many people that need it.

That is why I decided to set up a business dedicated to raising the profile of STEM and championing diversity and inclusion in STEM. This is my own company that I can run alongside my ongoing engineering career with Amey. Hence calling it my side-hustle! 

Welcome to the World - STEMAZING Ltd! I strongly believe that through STEMAZING Ltd I will be able to extend my impact for inspiring people to go into STEM careers and supporting women to remain and progress in their STEM careers. I want to see more people choosing STEM and more diverse talent flourishing in STEM careers.

STEMAZING Ltd aims to inspire, and increase diversity and inclusion in STEM.

STEMAZING has two key themes: 

  • STEMAZING KIDS which is targeted at inspiring our next generation of thinkers and problem solvers - our future scientists and engineers.
  • STEMAZING WOMEN which is targeted at championing and supporting girls and women in STEM as we need greater diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce.

Engineering skills are in short supply - we have a demand for about 200,000 new engineers each year and a shortfall of about 60,000 every year. This means we desperately need more people with engineering skills and as new technologies and industries grow this demand will increase. We need more children to choose STEM subjects - but why don't they? For a number of reasons, but awareness is one them. Only 27% of age 11-14 year olds know what engineers do, and only 31% of parents know what engineers do.

STEMAZING KIDS will raise awareness of engineering and will offer products such as; lunchtime and after-school STEM Clubs, STEM Summer Clubs, School STEM Competitions, and Parent and Child STEM clubs. It is vital to bring science and engineering to life by inspiring young people to appreciate the fantastic world of STEM and maintain their wonderment for science and engineering through their school years. By connecting the fundamentals of science and engineering to real world challenges and opportunities, young people will understand how they can make a real impact and improve the World around them. 

I will charge for the STEM Clubs, but for families that can't afford it I want to offer discounted or free places, as it is proven that children from low-income backgrounds have a much greater chance of social mobility if they choose to continue studying STEM subjects. 

We need more diversity in industries like engineering. Diversity of people, diversity of experience and diversity of thought brings higher levels of innovation and better business performance. It's a no brainer, but it's not happening. For example, take Physics - at GCSE the percentage of girls is 50%, then at A-Level it's 22% then at University studying technology or engineering related subjects it's 16% and the percentage of women in engineering is about 12%. It's not enough!!

STEMAZING WOMEN will champion diversity and inclusion in STEM. The product offered will be mentoring programmes for girls and women in STEM. The aim for this is to encourage more girls to take STEM subjects, continue into STEM careers and progress into leadership roles in STEM organisations. This is important to turn the tide on a male dominated field which lacks diversity and inclusion. One of the biggest barriers for women in STEM is lack of confidence in a high proportion male environment, therefore I believe mentoring to support women to reach their potential is vital. STEMAZING will offer a range of options for mentoring; from assistance and ideas on setting up a STEM mentoring programme in your school, university or company; through to 1-2-1 mentoring for girls and women in STEM.

In addition to the service based products described above I also want to offer merchandise with STEMAZING branding which will be stylish and empowering. We need to change the public image of STEM - I want it to be cool to be associated with STEM!

I will use the money I raise through Crowdfunding to kick start this project.  I need to develop the resources and buy the equipment that will underpin these offerings and products. I will use some of the money to enhance my website and build the STEMAZING brand. I also want to use some of the money to set up two pilot programmes for the products so I can build the STEMAZING portfolio. The key pilots will be the school's mentoring programme for girls considering STEM and the Parent and Child STEM Clubs as these will need testing and tailoring before I can grow them.

The pilot mentoring programme will be aimed at Year 9 Girls who are considering to continue studying STEM subjects for A Level. This is a crucial time for decision making about whether to drop or continue STEM subjects, and having extra support and confidence can help make a big difference.  

The pilot Parent and Child STEM Club will be aimed at getting parents engaged with STEM so they feel more comfortable with it and can continue to reinforce the message at home that it is a career option.

As I work part time, I am able to start to deliver this myself and will offer a small range of options locally initially.  Once the products are tested and proven with evidence to show they are effective, I plan to develop the range of products (greater number and variety of STEM Clubs, greater number and variety of mentoring programmes) and involve and train other enthusiastic STEM Champions to support me to deliver these and engage over a greater geographical reach. 

In the short term the business will have extremely low overheads so the Crowdfunding money will be used to maximum effect to kick start STEMAZING to build a portfolio and greater profile. Income will then be generated from the Clubs, Merchandise and Mentoring to create a sustainable business model and grow the impact further.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this - it would be amazing if you could support me in my quest to spread the love of STEM! Please pledge whatever you can afford to support me, from £5 to £50 to £500 - every penny is appreciated thank you!! If I reach my target Natwest will match fund 50% and STEMAZING Ltd may even be in the running for additional prize money too!

Please also share this on your networks and help spread the word!

THANK YOU!!!

If you want to see more, my current basic website which is self funded and self developed is here: https://www.stemazingltd.com/

Some testimonials for previous School STEM and mentoring for women that I have done:

“We are honoured to have Alexandra Knight here - her enthusiasm and passion for supporting female engineering students is evidenced by her commitment to the mentoring programme for 5 years. I know she will change lives.” Giselle Hayward, Brunel University London

“You've inspired so many students!” Adam Corre, Primary School Teacher

“Alex was once in my position, she knows what it’s like, she knows what it takes. For me it doesn’t get more real than that. Her words of encouragement and examples have really stuck with me. She inspires me to work hard and smart with my career and studies.  She makes being a woman in engineering look easy!  I owe a lot of my current confidence with networking and job applications to her” Damola Olojo, mentee

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Exclusive "I AM STEM AZING" little page of 30 stickers for those moments when you need to tell someone how STEMAZING they are!

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Exclusive branded "I AM STEM AZING" Stemazing Ltd A6 pocket notebook for all your inspirational scribbles on the go!

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Exclusive "I AM STEM AZING" T Shirt in a range of sizes for those occasions when you need the World to know how STEMAZING you are!


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