About the Award

The Youth STEMM Award CIC is a social enterprise and was founded at the world leading John Innes Centre with the mission to raise aspirations and widen participation from under-represented groups into Higher Education and STEMM careers to support a more diverse future STEMM workforce. We are supported by a number of high profile organisations, including the University of East Anglia.

Head over to the Get Involved page to find out how to run the YSA in your setting, or register as an independent participant.

Helping Young people to be successful in STEMM

Activities can be carried out at school, online or at home and can involve trips, visits and after school clubs. Almost anything involving STEMM could count, but it must be outside of normal lessons, homework and exam revision.

On completion, students will receive a digital badge, medal and certificate, plus have a downloadable personalised record of achievement, capturing all the activities that were undertaken during the course of their Award. They can then select ‘Youth STEMM Award’ on the UCAS university application form (UK).

Achieving a Youth STEMM Award reflects commitment, enthusiasm and self-motivation. It adds value to applications for higher education, training, and jobs and helps young people to show their individuality through their unique portfolio of experiences. It is a way for young people applying for the most prestigious courses to stand out amongst the crowd over and above grades, and offers a way to evidence core skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership within the framework of STEMM subjects. Each journey is unique and young people can start by following any area that may interest them.

What does STEMM stand for?

Our ambassadors

  • Professor Ben Garrod

    Evolutionary Biologist, Broadcaster, Author.
    Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Communication at University of East Anglia

    Visit Professor 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 TV Presenter

    Visit Maddie's website here

    Maddie is a BAFTA-winning presenter and has amassed millions of views on YouTube, where she is a well-known family-focused “Edu-tuber”. She is the host of the CBeebies TV series “Maddie’s Do You Know?”, BBC Earth’s “Earth Unplugged” and Fully Charged’s YouTube series ‘Maddie Goes Electric’. Her YouTube channel is also the home of “Let’s Go Live with Maddie and Greg”, a science series suitable for all ages.

    “When I was younger, I loved taking part in after-school drama clubs, sports, and outdoorsy challenges but there was never anything to satisfy my passion for science! I really believe that extra-curricular activities not only give us an opportunity to explore learning in our own unique ways, but provide a sense of what a career and a life surrounded by that thing could be like.”

  • Dr Marcia Philbin

    Chief Executive at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

    Find out more about Dr Marcia here

    Marcia is the Chief Executive at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

    “I love the saying ‘bloom where you are planted’. I have done just that. I do not see barriers, I see opportunities for growth.”

    Marcia Philbin is atypical. Her parents came from Jamaica and settled in Birmingham. She inherited their work ethic and belief in the transformative power of education. That is why she is a black female scientist with a PhD in chemistry who is now the Chief Executive of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, an influential body for doctors who develop new medicines.

    “Where others see challenges, I see opportunities and always ask myself, “why not give it a go?” because that is how we can change things for the better.”


  • 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.”

  • Dr Nira Chamberlain

    Professional Mathematical Modeller

    Find out more about Dr Nira here

    Nira is a mathematician and is President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Application (2020-2021).

    “I like to talk, walk, eat and sleep mathematics! Why? Because Mathematics is the greatest subject in the world!”

    In 2018 he was voted the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician and in the same year was the 5th Most Influential Person of African/African Caribbean decent in the UK according to the Powerlist. His most popular public lecture talks are; “The Black Heroes of Mathematics” and “The Mathematics that can stop an AI apocalypse!” He is very “Proud to be a Mathematician!”

    “You don’t need anybody’s permission to be a great mathematician!”.

    You can hear Nira’s life story on BBC Radio 4 The life Scientific podcast.

Our partners

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Babraham Institute

    On a mission to be an international leader in research focusing on basic cell and molecular biology with an emphasis on healthy ageing through the human lifecycle.

    Visit the website here

    The Babraham Institute is a world-class research institution, situated at the heart of the Babraham Research Campus, near Cambridge. Research at the Babraham Institute addresses fundamental biological questions of how cells and organisms develop and respond to the environment. A particular focus is how we age and studying the underlying mechanisms controlling this process, for example how older people respond differently to infection compared to younger people. Connect with Babraham Institute at:

    • Email: PE@babraham.ac.uk
    • Facebook: @TheBabrahamInstitute (https://www.facebook.com/TheBabrahamInstitute)
    • Twitter: @BabrahamInst (https://twitter.com/BabrahamInst)
    • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BabrahamInstitute
  • Wellcome Connecting Science

    Wellcome Connecting Science’s mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society.

    Visit the website here

    Drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Wellcome Genome Campus, Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation, supports learning, and measures and understands global attitudes and perspectives. Connecting Science connect researchers, health professionals and the wider public, creating opportunities and spaces to explore genomic science and its relationship with people and the world around us. The Science Engagement and Enrichment team have a wide range of engagement activities including in person and online experiences as well as a range of digital resources.

Our supporters

  • Norwich Science Festival

    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 the Norwich Science Festival

    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
  • Polar Aspect

    Polar Aspect is passionate about raising awareness and understanding of the Arctic. We run Model Arctic Council (MAC) simulations for youth, including the world’s only MACs for schools. These innovative diplomatic simulations bring students together to learn about the Arctic, its peoples and its challenges through educational role-play. Taking on the roles of Arctic diplomats, participants consider up-to-the-minute Arctic issues, and hone their skills at persuasion, negotiation and consensus-building.
    Polar Aspect is proud to collaborate with YSA, and we’re delighted that youth can earn credit towards Youth STEMM Awards by participating in our MACs.
    For more about Polar Aspect and our unique educational events, please visit our website, or follow us @polaraspect and @PolarMACs.

    Visit the website here
  • The Big Bang Competition

    Whether it's a brand new project, or has been completed as part of another competition, all science, technology, engineering and maths projects are welcome. The Big Bang Competition is open to all 11-18-year olds in full-time education or training.

    Why enter?
    • Allow young people to explore an area of interest and develop independent learning skills
    • Compete for over £20,000 worth of amazing prizes, including the chance to be crowned GSK UK Young Engineer or GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year
    • Opportunities to network with like-minded peers and STEM employers
    • Boost profile of achievement on UCAS form or college application

    Visit the website here
  • 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
  • Healeys Printers

    Healeys is one of only ten printers in the UK to be certified as a Carbon Balanced Printer, by the World Land Trust. Being a Carbon Balanced Printer allows Healeys to carbon balance paper, print and the production and manufacturing of our printed material, with the World Land Trust. The World Land Trust, for whom Sir David Attenborough is patron, helps to protects endangered habitats and species around the world by purchasing land and supporting the local communities in protected areas.

    Thank you Healeys for sponsoring our printed materials and helping us be carbon balanced.

    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
  • 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 37,000 members across the UK and 1,400 volunteers each year.
    NWT is a leading provider of outdoor learning and nature experiences in Norfolk through its visitor centres, school outreach and reserves visits, volunteering opportunities and the huge number of wildlife events on offer every year for all ages. The events, activities, and educational opportunities 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
  • Price Bailey Accountants

    With many thanks for their invaluable financial advice and guidance

    Visit the website here