News and blog

St Mary’s celebrates future STEMM stars following students’ national award wins

St Mary’s celebrates future STEMM stars following students’ national award wins

The last two years have turned the global spotlight on the vital role that science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) professionals play in the world. Following the emergence of COVID-19, a new generation now understands the impact that bio-scientists, epidemiologists, vaccine developers, data scientists and medical device engineers can have on the lives of ordinary people. With women such as Professor Sarah Gilbert, Catherine Green OBE, and Özlem Türeci at the forefront of the fight against COVID, we at St Mary’s School are doing everything we can to create the scientific stars of the future, right here, in the heart of Cambridge – and our hard work is paying off.

This week we have been celebrating our future STEMM leaders, following a flurry of prestigious science awards and competition wins for our talented Sixth Form students.

In the highly commended Youth STEMM Awards (YSA) we are proud to announce that our current Sixth Form students Medeea G. and Amelie A. achieved Silver and Bronze awards respectively.  A number of Sixth Form students, who have now moved on to University, also achieved YSA Bronze awards including: Emma G., Imogen H., Keeve M., Maria K., Safiya D. and Sophie C.

YSA is a nationwide skills award that supports and inspires the next generation into STEMM. The awards are open to students aged 13-19 from across the country, with a total of 40 schools taking part in 2021. The programme of activities is split into four strands:

  • Inspiring the next generation
  • Engaging the public
  • Developing your skills and knowledge
  • Shaping your future.

To support our students’ YSA work, we offer extra-curricular sessions in school, which provide much-needed time and space for students to identify and plan activities that can form the basis of their application. This supportive approach catalyses student engagement and encourages them to articulate and share their personal journey on a weekly basis.

Last term our students also took part in the Biology Olympiad Competition – an online competition available to all Sixth Form Biologists that extends and applies the biology curriculum / specification to unfamiliar contexts. Two former Year 13 students scooped big in the 2021 competition, with Emily C. achieving Bronze and Keeva M. receiving Highly Commended. In addition, our current Year 13 student, Alice G., also received Highly Commended in the competition, which was a significant achievement as she took part whilst in Year 12.

Meanwhile in the local Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, Victoria W. achieved a Silver award and Ivy L. achieved a Bronze award. In our internal 2021 School's Analyst competition three teams of Year 12 Chemistry students took part. While only one team won, certificates were also presented to the other two teams for participation and teamwork.

Commenting on these achievements, Charlotte Avery, said: “We would like to congratulate all of our students who have worked exceptionally hard and gone the extra mile to take part in these prestigious awards and competitions. It’s a true reflection of the commitment, enthusiasm and self-motivation our students have when it comes to extra-curricular activities and their love of STEMM. In 2019 the UK reached the milestone of having one million women working in STEM roles – an increase of more than 350,000 on 2009. This is a great step forward, but more needs be done to get greater numbers of young women into STEMM roles. At St Mary’s we are 100% behind this drive and recognise the role we, as educators, must play. We work hard to embed a passion for STEMM in our girls from the minute they walk through our door and our students’ recent academic achievements in this area are clear to see. Entering these kinds of programs really helps our pupils stand out from the crowd. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these future STEMM stars.” 

Well done to all of our girls! Keep up the inspiring work in this area!