Celebrating 20 Years of STEM Ambassadors, Ashleigh Kitchiner (Senior Marine Mammal Consultant)

I joined the STEM Ambassadors programme back in 2016 when I was an undergraduate student. I went to the volunteer office at university and was impressed with all the options to give back. The one that stuck with me was STEM Learning because I was also looking to develop myself. At the time, I wanted to work on my public speaking and science communication. I also knew how important networking was, especially when looking for that first job out of uni. I signed up and the first activity I got involved in was delivering mock interviews at a school in North Wales. It was so much fun meeting the pupils and watching their confidence grow as the interviews went on.

Since graduating I couldn’t tell you how many activities I have been involved in but the advent of virtual/online events has meant that I can get involved in so much more. I deliver talks, Q+A's, mentoring and activities all from the comfort of my own home. I have now created presentations for each level in-line with the curriculum and have extra, more interactive sessions if needed.

This year, I have started to visit schools again and it has been fantastic. It’s amazing how different the questions are and how the learners react to different parts of the presentation. I have now set up a group in my local area. I’m working hard with SSERC, local STEM Ambassadors and educators to connect STEM Ambassadors with schools and deliver more engaging content to learners!