17 March 2022: Rosie will be advising young people about exciting career opportunities at the heart of a low carbon future, to celebrate British Science Week (11-20 March).
New STEM ambassador Rosie Watt, an analyst with UK Power Networks Services' energy technology consulting team, is on a mission to inspire girls to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Rosie, originally from Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, said: “A big part of my motivation is increasing the diversity of STEM subjects. I would like more girls to get excited about these subjects and have more exposure to where these subjects can take them.
UK Power Networks has established a vibrant new team of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassadors during British Science Week, set to become diverse and relatable engineering role models. More than 70 employees have registered to become STEM ambassadors and will be ready to volunteer within weeks.
The electricity specialists want to show young people how exciting engineering careers are within their grasp. Events will include interactive school, college and youth group visits, careers fairs, mentoring and work experience.
Alex Sturge, head of communications, engagement and development at UK Power Networks, said: “We want to engage and inspire students throughout their education, from primary school children to university students. Young people are enthusiastic about sustainability and Net Zero and we are working right at the heart of that.
“STEM ambassadors have an important role talking about what life is like in an engineering company in the electricity and utility sector. This will help our whole sector and is integral to attracting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce to achieve our business goals.
“Our ambassadors have a passion, feel proud of the industry they work in and can show how the immense opportunities in our industry are accessible to everyone.”
Employees have two paid days leave each year to volunteer in their communities and STEM ambassadors can use this time to share their passion for their vocation.
Vienna McAndie, from STEM Learning’s STEM Ambassador Programme, said: “Children are naturally inquisitive and fascinated about science and other STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), but don’t necessarily consider a “STEM” career as an option for them.
“We want to broaden young people’s awareness of the types of jobs STEM skills can lead to and challenge stereotypes of what a STEM professional is. We hope to add to a child’s Science Capital so they can visualise choosing a STEM career for themselves. There is a significant shortage of skilled applicants for STEM jobs and the gap widens every year, but early intervention through education can show children the possibilities of their own future careers.
“We need to show young people role models who look like them, have similar backgrounds and can show the huge variety of careers paths they could have. STEM Ambassadors are a powerful way to do this. They inspire young people by showing them real world examples of STEM careers, as well as supporting teachers by providing a 'wow' factor, alongside contextualising subjects taught in the classroom.
“We want to make sure everyone has the same opportunities when they come to choose their career path and UK Power Networks STEM Ambassadors will support our goals.”
STEM Ambassadors have undergone enhanced background checks to volunteer with children, complete safeguarding training and have significant opportunities for their own professional development. The STEM Ambassador programme is funded by UKRI to be free for everyone involved.
To become a STEM Ambassador visit https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors/join-stem-ambassador-programme
Find out more about Rosie, Analyst and STEM Ambassador
Tell us about your job?
I’m an analyst in the energy and technology consulting team. I do energy modelling, research and report writing for clients. We work on low carbon technology feasibility projects to install renewable energy, EV charging capability and electrification of heat.
What is your educational background?
At school in Scotland, I studied chemistry, biology, physics, maths and languages, then completed a degree in chemical engineering at Edinburgh University and a master’s degree in environmental technology. I knew what I liked but didn’t get into the industry straight away.
Why do you want to be a STEM ambassador?
A big part of my motivation is increasing the diversity of STEM subjects. My undergraduate course was massively male dominated, and I would like more girls get excited about STEM subjects and have more exposure to where these subjects can take them.
I hope I can get young people more enthusiastic about STEM subjects. It’s not boring! The environmental side of science is something a lot of young people care about and they can make a difference in an environmental field having studied STEM subjects.
Why do young people need science role models?
I had a female physics teacher who inspired me to get into engineering in the first place. At university I lacked that female representation, which was one of the reasons I felt like I didn’t belong in that environment. because the teachers and students were male.
It would be good for young people to see more prominent female figures in senior roles to see where their career could go and where they could progress.
Best part of your job?
We work at the front end of one of the biggest transitions we will see in our lifetime. We face the electrification of cars and heating and moving away from fossil fuels. Over the next few decades there will be a lot of change. Nobody knows what to expect and it’s exciting to be at the forefront of that. It’s fun doing research on new and exciting technologies.
There are so many more opportunities than I thought there would be. In consultancy every project is different, so you don’t have to fit the electrical engineering box.
How would you like to make a difference?
I would most like to support students just before deciding about university or when they are picking A-levels and haven’t closed themselves off to opportunities. I think I can make most difference with young people seriously considering their career.