Two staff members from the Midland Metro Alliance have been helping to inspire young people to work in STEM during events designed to break down barriers – with a little help from His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Sustainability Manager, Natalie Cropp, and Engineering Lead, Emma Parry, showed their support to science, technology, engineering and maths education when they joined the judging panel for two events hosted by Millennium Point in the Eastside of Birmingham.
Natalie rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan when she helped inspire women to work in STEM during a “Meet the STEMettes” event on International Women’s Day (March 8).
She was among seven female leaders in their STEM fields who told their life-stories to 90 female students from secondary schools across the Midlands. The girls then asked the panel questions about their experiences to find out more.
The event was held in conjunction with social initiative STEMettes, with the aim of attracting young people into STEM, and Natalie met Prince Harry in what was the couple’s first visit to Birmingham.
Natalie said: “It was a great honour to be a part of the event and it was fantastic being a part of the buzz and excitement that goes with a Royal visit.”
The event also included interactive activities, a panel discussion, speed networking opportunities with local businesses, and information on work experience, apprenticeships, A-level choices, and university degrees in STEM.
Meanwhile, Emma also showed her support to STEM when she sat on the panel of the Millennium Point Scholarship, inspiring young people to study in field.
The annual competition awards a scholarship for Birmingham City University to a local young person interested in studying a STEM subject.
Emma took part in two final events; the practical stage involved the six finalists taking part in a hands-on group activity, while the judges heard presentations from the scholarship finalists during a live final.
After deliberation from the judges, the prize went to aspiring civil engineer Ryan Dowell who spoke about the impact of the lack of housing and rising prices for young people in the Midlands. He will be studying civil engineering at Birmingham City University.
Emma said: “The Millennium Point Scholarship offers a great opportunity to the local youth, allowing them access to a bright future in STEM. It was a privilege to be part of the panel selecting the winner. It was quite the task selecting one winner from a group of highly talented young individuals. If it was up to me, I would employ them all!”