The Crawley STEMfest launch was hosted for the first time by Manor Royal company, Welland Medical, with Managing Director, Chris Primett, reinforcing what an important initiative this is for the future of our businesses and the importance of encouraging and inspiring young people to fulfil their ambitions, pursuing careers which they might not otherwise have considered.
Guests then heard from inspirational sixth-formers, Megan and Elizabeth O’Shea whose STEM journey took them from a simple science project in 2014 to releasing over 100 GCSE revision videos and interviewing Tim Peake!
Kate McWilliams from easyJet, the world’s youngest female captain, told guests about her unconventional journey into her career. Only 3% of the world’s pilots are female, and there are only 450 female captains. Her talk clearly demonstrated the ongoing need to encourage young people, and especially girls, into the many and varied careers open to them when they study STEM.
Antony Yates, Head of Engineering at STEMfest headline sponsor, Gatwick Airport Limited, gave a company perspective on STEM skills needs. Originally an apprentice himself, he highlighted that there are different routes into STEM careers. He said, “Engineering skills are critical to our business and we want to be at the forefront of inspiring young people to join us and to be part of our continuing future growth and success. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor for both Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang, where we will be able to connect with thousands of local students”
Entertainment was provided by Steve Mould, one third of ‘Festival of the Spoken Nerd’. Steve seamlessly wove real science, like the fountain chain conundrum with comedy.