About the Awards

The Youth STEMM Award is an achievement-based award for students in Years 9 to 13, designed to support and inspire the next generation of STEMM professionals. Participants log STEMM-related activities across four core strands on a personalised e-portfolio. Students can work towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold level Award, inspire the next generation, engage the public, develop skills and shape their future career in the STEMM sector. The e-portfolio allows schools to capture engagement across their cohort and identify areas that need further development.

The YSA launched in April 2015 with all-female participants across 22 state schools in Norfolk. In September 2016 we expanded to include Gold and Silver awards and welcomed participants of any gender. Over 1000 young people across the UK have now taken part, with more signing up every week. Students can get involved through their school or college, but can also sign up as independent candidates, making it a great opportunity for those whose schools aren’t participating, or for young people who are Home Educated.

The Award was conceived, developed and is now run by Samantha and Simon Fox. Samantha is a Senior Research Scientist and Youth Aspiration Champion at the John Innes Centre, as well as having significant experience in the outreach and scicomm fields she is passionate about increasing equality and diversity across the whole STEMM sector. Simon is deputy principal of a large sixth form college, has a wealth of education leadership across many settings and is committed to increasing the number of enthused young people coming through the STEMM supply chain.

What does STEMM stand for?

Our patrons

  • Dr Ben Garrod

    Evolutionary Biologist, Broadcaster, Author.
    Teaching Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University

    Visit Dr Ben's website here

    Ben specialises in studying evolution and what causes species to change over time. He has lived and worked with chimpanzees in Africa, orangutans in Asia and polar bears in the Arctic. He has also worked with monkeys in the Caribbean and even dinosaurs in South America. Ben is also an award-winning BBC science presenter and has written numerous books for young scientists.


    “I am from Norfolk, I love Norfolk and I want to encourage young scientists in Norfolk. We each have the potential to be anything we want, no matter who we are or where we are from and the YSA promotes that at every opportunity. They work hard to help every young person see their potential.”

  • Mark Thompson

    Astronomer, author and broadcaster

    Visit Mark's website here

    Mark has inspired millions of viewers to get out and enjoy the night sky through his role as a presenter on the RTS nominated show BBC Stargazing Live. His passion for reaching out to a new audience has found him working on The One Show, the Alan Titchmarsh show, Channel 4 documentaries and more recently on ITVs prime time breakfast shows This Morning and Good Morning Britain. Along with his TV work, he is a popular guest on BBC Radio Five Live as a ‘Midnight Expert’, has now published four popular astronomy books and is now touring his sell out ‘Spectacular Science Show’ at theatres and schools around the country.


    “I was ten years old when I started getting excited by science. I saw Saturn through a telescope at my local astronomical society and from that day was utterly absorbed by the wonderment of not just the Universe, but all aspects of science.   The Youth STEMM awards is a brilliant initiative to help and encourage youngsters of today focus on STEMM activity.”

  • Professor Mark Miodownik

    Materials Engineer and Professor of Materials and Society,
    Director of the Institute of Making, UCL

    Visit Professor Mark's website here
    Find out more about Professor Mark here

    Mark is a broadcaster and writer on science and engineering issues, and believes passionately that to engineer is to be human. He regularly gives popular talks on engineering and materials science to tv, radio, festival, and school audiences. He gave the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, he is the author of Stuff Matters, and is a regular presenter of science and engineering BBC TV programmes.

    “I love the YSA because it recognises that being a great engineer or scientist is not just about passing exams”

  • Maddie Moate

    YouTube Educator and Presenter

    Visit Maddie's website here
    Find out more about Maddie here

    Maddie is a YouTuber and Television Presenter. One of the few female “Edu-tubers” in the UK, Maddie has been hosting educational online content for the past 5 years and has amassed over 18 million views on her YouTube films across multiple science and technology channels.

    “For me, the YSA shares the same philosophy and creates a similar environment to my own YouTube channel. It opens up an exciting, comfortable space where young people can interact with the awesome world of science. The award sparks curiosity in the kids that take part and reminds us that science and learning should be FUN.”

  • Professor Danielle George MBE

    Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning and Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, University of Manchester.
    Presenter of the Royal Institution 2014 Christmas Lectures

    Visit Professor Danielle's website here

    Danielle is passionate about raising public awareness of the positive impact engineering has on all aspects of our everyday lives and highlighting to young people the immense depth and breadth of opportunities a career in engineering can offer.

    “The YSA gives young people the chance to show how their creativity and curiosity can change the world. We are all born scientists and engineers because we all ask the fundamental questions “Why” and “How” at an early age. The YSA creates an environment for young people to be curious.”

  • Dr Marty Jopson

    Science TV Presenter, Live Show Performer, Writer, Prop Builder and all round Science Fanatic

    Visit Dr Marty's website here

    Marty is resident scientist on BBC’s The One Show and has entertained uncountable children and family groups with scientific shows all over the country. Marty studied for his PhD at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

    “I’m excited by the potential the YSA offers to students in the UK, we live in a scientific and technological world, encouraging young people to take an interest and maybe a career in STEMM has never been more important. To be part of our 21st Century democracy it is vital we have scientifically literate citizens and the YSA gives students the chance to become just that.”

  • Professor Tom Shakespeare

    Professor of Disability Research, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia

    Visit Professor Tom's website here

    Tom is a sociologist and bioethicist, and he specialises in qualitative research with disabled people. He is a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Formerly, he worked at the World Health Organisation in Geneva. His books include ‘Disability Rights and Wrongs’, and ‘Disability – the basics’.

    “I think it’s vital to get young people engaged In STEMM subjects, looking to higher education and careers in this field, and the STEMM award is a great way to get kids and schools on board.”



  • Lizzie Daly

    Biologist, naturalist and wildlife presenter

    Visit Lizzie's website here

    Lizzie is a biologist, naturalist and wildlife presenter from Cardiff. Having worked on CBeebies, CBBC, National Geographic and now for BBC Earth Unplugged, Lizzie hopes to inspire others to involve themselves in scientific endeavours. Lizzie is also an ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute UK and the Marine Conservation Society.

    “It’s so refreshing to hear about the Youth STEMM Award. This great initiative has a focus on pushing young people to work towards their passion. A curiosity for the natural world has got me to where I am today and finally there is an opportunity for future STEMMers that ensures they can flourish.”

Our partners

  • John Innes Centre

    A world-leading international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology

    Visit the website here

    The John Innes Centre, a world-leader in plant science and microbiology is involved in cutting-edge, high quality fundamental, strategic and applied research. A key part of their mission is to inspire and train the scientists of the future and engage with the public. They are delighted to have supported the Youth STEMM Award since its inception and are committed to continuing to provide inspirational educational opportunities for our local community.

  • University of East Anglia (UEA)

    A UK top 20 university and part of one of the largest scientific communities in Europe

    Visit the website here

    The UEA has a strong programme of outreach activity with secondary schools. One example of this is the Research Councils UK-funded ‘School:University Partnership Programme’. This is a partnership between UEA and seven secondary schools, a key aim of which is to bring research and research related activity into the secondary schools. Key activities of the partnership include 6th form conferences, science clubs and a Year 10 summer school. The partnership is also proud to support the Youth STEMM Awards.

  • The Forum Trust

    An independent, self-financing charitable organisation

    Visit the website here

    The Forum Trust is the independent educational charity that runs the landmark Forum building in Norwich city centre. It’s the driving force behind the new Norwich Science Festival and has a strong interest in promoting involvement and understanding of science and technology.

Our supporters

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Norwich Museum and Art Gallery is a nationally significant museum of archaeology, fine and decorative arts, natural history and geology

    It is one of Norfolk’s most iconic landmarks, now a leading regional museum with over 200,000 visitors each year. Norwich Castle offers major special exhibitions, a comprehensive schools programme and an inspirational events programme for museum visitors.

    Norwich Castle keep was built by the Normans as a royal palace over 900 years ago but for most of its history, it was a gaol and prison. In 1894 the castle became the county’s principal museum and art gallery. Its collections are designated as being nationally significant and include archaeology, fine and decorative arts, natural history and geology.

    Visit the website here
  • Make Happen

    Make Happen is the name of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) for Essex and is dedicated to inspire young people, raise their aspirations and promote interest in HE as a route to achieving their ambitions.

    NCOP exists to widen participation to Higher Education by supporting the Government’s goals to:

    -Double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020
    -Increase by 20 percent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups
    -Address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE.

    Based at The University of Essex, the Make Happen team lead on the development and implementation of outreach activity and the marketing and promotion of a range of events, activities and initiatives to achieve the stated objectives.

    We represent a group of education providers and interested parties brought together with a common aim to widen participation and help young people – Make Happen.

    Visit our website Makehappen.org and follow us @MakeHappenEssex

    Visit the website here
  • Hethel Engineering Centre

    Hethel Engineering Centre is an award-winning innovation hub serving the high-performance engineering and manufacturing sector in the East of England. Hethel is committed to supporting the economic growth of Norfolk, and a key part of this involves supporting the development of STEMM skills in our local region. Hethel welcomes STEMM work experience students and offers programs to develop STEMM Skills such as our 2 day STEM Gamechangers course. We are proud to be a supporter of the Youth STEMM awards.

    Visit the website here
  • Institute of Physics East Anglia branch

    The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific membership society working to advance physics for the benefit of all. We have a worldwide membership from enthusiastic amateurs to those at the top of their fields in academia, business, education and government. Our purpose is to gather, inspire, guide, represent and celebrate all who share a passion for physics. In our role as a charity, we’re here to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society.

    Alongside professional support for our members, we engage with policymakers and the public to increase awareness and understanding of the value that physics holds for all of us. The East Anglia region runs lots of public engagement activities with the aim to raise awareness of physics and inspire the next generation.

    Check us out on Twitter at @IOPeast

    Visit the website here
  • Essex Education and Industry STEM Programme

    The Essex Education and Industry STEM Programme delivers a range of large-scale, key sector-focused events in partnership with their local Colleges, Universities and industry, serving to highlight careers and learning options in or related to local key sectors to local secondary students.

    In addition, they work with partners such as the Royal Institution of Great Britain to deliver their Engineering and Computer Science Masterclass Programme in Essex, plus their exciting and inspiring Science Shows, with STEMettes and Techgirls UK to focus on promoting tech careers to young female students, with ADS to deliver the regional Build a Rocket Competition event in the county, amongst many, many other things.

    Central to what they do is the message that right there in Essex, on young people’s doorsteps, are a range of exciting and innovative key sector companies that they could one day find themselves working within.

    Visit the website here
  • Orchards East

    Working with hundreds of new volunteers, the project will survey and record old orchard sites across the East of England, as well as research the social, cultural and economic history of fruit growing in the region. Results of these investigations will be widely shared through education and publication.

    The project also hopes to restore important old orchards, and to create new examples, for the enjoyment of local communities. This is a Heritage Lottery Funded project.

    Find them on Twitter @orchardseast

    Visit the website here
  • East Anglian Air Ambulance

    East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) is the helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) provider for the people of East Anglia, and is a charity funded entirely by public donations. Since it began in August 2000 the crew has flown over 20,000 life-saving missions, delivering doctors and critical-care paramedics to patients as quickly as possible to help save lives. To sustain this service EAAA needs to raise £11.1 million in 2017. To find out more about the work the charity does and how you can get involved please visit www.eaaa.org.uk.

    Visit the website here
  • Norwich Science Festival 2017

    Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 October 2017

    This autumn it’s your chance to explore the wonders of the universe, meet the scientists whose research has changed our world and debate some big questions with some big-thinkers, all at Norwich Science Festival 2017.

    Enjoy nine days of inspirational exhibitions, sensational shows and an abundance of hands-on science and engineering activities for all ages and all levels of knowledge.

    Visit the website here
  • Norfolk Wildlife Trust

    The first and oldest of the UK’s Wildlife Trusts, working to protect the future of wildlife and to help people connect with and be inspired by Norfolk’s wildlife and wild places. It is supported by more than 35,500 members across the UK and 1,400 active volunteers.

    NWT is a leading provider of outdoor learning and nature experiences in Norfolk through its visitor centres, school outreach, volunteering opportunities and the huge number of wildlife events on offer every year for all ages. The events, activities, educational courses and training give young people the chance to experience wildlife in their everyday lives, and help to nurture the next generation of naturalists, scientists, land-managers, environmentalists and more.

    Join us online www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk and @SupportNWT.

    Visit the website here
  • Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO)

    NEACO is a consortium of five universities and eight Further Education colleges across East Anglia, working to increase progression to Higher Education and degree level apprenticeships. It is one of 29 consortia across England which together form the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). The programme aims to support the Government’s goals to:
    · double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020
    · increase by 20 per cent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups
    · address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE
    NEACO works with students between year 9 - 13 living in 74 ‘target wards’ across East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough).

    Visit the website here
  • O'Melveny & Myers

    With many thanks for their invaluable legal advice and guidance

    Visit the website here
  • Price Bailey Accountants

    With many thanks for their invaluable financial advice and guidance

    Visit the website here