THE BIG ASK:

A DEDICATED TEAM

STUART MACDONALD

Managing Director, Seric Systems

Founder and CEO, SmartSTEMs

I am passionate about young people, their education and the need to bring equity to the opportunities they are afforded. I founded SmartSTEMs to directly address these issues and in so doing have tried to build a low-cost high-efficacy means of bringing together the full education system and industry. This is to put us societally at the risk of leaving less people behind through some accident of birth. Perhaps most fundamentally, I believe that by making it easy for people to do good, more people implicitly will do good: SmartSTEMs is about removing the barriers to entry, and the collaborative framework approach we take achieves just that.

Overall, I dream of a more munificent society where everyone contributes to the development of others and SmartSTEMs for me is a key part of that vision. One that also has the potential to create a more compassionate, IP-rich, export-driven economy that will benefit everyone in a far wider sense. In life, though not always successfully, I have sought always to leave things better than I have found them.

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MARGARET GIBSON OBE

Deputy Chief Executive, EY Foundation

The world is changing and the earlier that young people can learn about the opportunities that could be available to them in the world of work, the better for them and the communities in which they will live and work. To be inspired by the workshop leads, exhibitors and the speakers at SmartSTEMs events helps bring these key skills and attributes to life for those attending. I am proud to serve as a trustee and recognise that everyone who gets involved in the events takes something valuable away with them – building networks, social capital and collaboration is key.

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DUNCAN THOMSON

Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland

I am a lecturer and degree programme leader in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences at University of the West of Scotland. After more than two decades of seeing predominantly males choosing his subject, I am passionate about increasing the diversity of my students, and want to make sure these interesting, creative, rewarding and worldchanging career paths are clear choices open to everybody. Since volunteering at the first SmartSTEMs event in 2016, I have organised 7 events at University of the West of Scotland and delivered workshops at many more. I consider my involvement as a SmartSTEMs trustee as an extension of that role, and a way of helping to widen access to STEM-focussed careers across Scotland and beyond

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KAREN STEWART

Managing Director, NineTwenty

As a leader in the recruitment industry supporting the Manufacturing & Engineering sectors, I have been passionate about engaging young people in STEM and raising   awareness of the wonderful careers that STEM can lead you towards for some time.

I started volunteering for SmartSTEMs and was blown away by the impact it has on young people. I am now a Trustee and want to help the SmartSTEMs team reach their goals in inspiring as many young people as possible.

This has been a rewarding, inspiring and emotional experience for me!

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PAUL TYLER

Kirkhill Primary School, East Renfrewshire

I have been teaching for 13 years now and am currently Principal Teacher and STEM coordinator at Kirkhill Primary School in East Renfrewshire. I am proud to be a fellow of the Primary Science Teaching Trust and an active member of the Association of Science Educators. In addition to teaching I regularly deliver teacher training workshops, write articles and resources and present at conferences across the UK talking about my experiences teaching science.

My main areas of interest currently are growing parental engagement in schools, building pupils Science Capital and improving partnerships between schools and academia and industry. And it is these interests that brought me to SmartSTEMs as a trustee.

I have been taking groups of primary school children along to SmartSTEMs college hub events for 3 years and immediately recognised that their principles perfectly matched my philosophy of what is important for high quality STEM experiences. I was delighted to accept the position of trustee with SmartSTEMs, a charity I believe has the capacity to change the way schools, industry and academia work together to build lasting partnerships that will benefit all of your young people.