Hear from STEM ambassador Linda Harrison

9th April 2024

linda harrison

Meet Linda Harrison, Business Services Director in our Water Division and one of our STEM ambassadors.

Linda talked to us about her work in STEM and her recent visit to a school where she introduced the ‘Go Construct K’nex Challenge’.

Q: What made you want to get involved in being a STEM ambassador?

Children are our future. I believe we should take every opportunity to inspire the children of today. From a personal point of view, I think it is imperative that we widely promote the water industry so we can create a more diverse workforce in the future.

Q: What does your role as an ambassador entail?

It’s all about being a positive role model, volunteering your time to bring STEM subjects to life.

Q: What do you enjoy about the role?

It really is all about enthusiasm and active participation. STEM events are created to give children an opportunity to learn through play. The exciting events we deliver help to develop creators, thinkers, problem solvers, doers, innovators, and inventors. What’s not to love about that?

Q: What’s been your favourite STEM event you’ve attended?

I recently delivered three Go Construct K’nex Challenge sessions at a primary school in Peterborough.

The aim of the challenge was to provide year six primary school children (aged nine to eleven years old) with an introduction to the exciting world of engineering and technology in a fun and educational way. The challenge consisted of the children designing and then building a model of a truck and blade. During the build time I judged the models based on a set criteria, resulting in an overall winner from each class on the day. It was a little bit chaotic at times as the K’nex pieces were flying all over the place but it was still a wonderful experience.

A lovely heartwarming thing occurred which is the reason why STEM work is so important. One child stood up and presented on behalf of the team. It was such a positive, informative, and detailed presentation. I saw the teacher and the support teacher glancing at each other across the room but didn’t quite understand what had just taken place. After the session, the teacher told me that over the last few months this child had never actively participated in anything, and they were simply stunned at what had just happened. This wonderful moment will stay with me forever.

Q: Why is STEM such an important topic right now?

STEM goes beyond school subjects. Science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects have a positive impact on the economy and society. Improving the quality of science teaching and increasing the number of young people that study science subjects is important if we are to address the STEM skills shortage and support the UK economy to grow.

Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved in STEM at the company?

Go for it! It gives back so much more. Seeing one child do something amazing just makes your day.

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