STEM Ambassadors in the Field: Ewa Grabowiecka

Issued: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:09:00 BST

We talked to Microbiology and Software Development Master’s student Ewa Grabowiecka about her experience as a hard-working STEM Ambassador.

“I remember looking down a microscope and seeing a new world. It wasn’t our world, it was another world and I thought that was really cool.”

It would be fair to say that Ewa Grabowiecka is quite excitable, but that’s partly what makes her such an effective STEM Ambassador. Kids love her, teachers request her and the West of Scotland STEM Ambassador programme is lucky to have someone like her. Ewa’s been a STEM Ambassador all over Scotland and is a perfect example of why the programme exists in the first place.

When the BBC micro:bit recently came on the scene, Ewa acted as an effective conduit between the tech and the teachers and has been great at helping pupils understand what the micro:bit is capable of.

Asked why she became a STEM Ambassador she answers emphatically: “I always liked the idea of sharing knowledge with younger people. I think in order to have good education you need to have community and I just think it’s such a vital part of learning and it helps me learn as well. I’m quite bubbly and I find it easy to relate to young people. I’ve been doing it for a while now so it would be fair to say I like it.”

An Ambassador since 2011, Ewa heard about the programme while in second year of University at Dundee. Since then she’s helped at George Heriot’s School, Douglas Academy and Bishopbriggs Academy among others.

Aside from helping young people better understand Microbiology and technology, Ewa is also highly involved in getting young girls more interested in STEM subjects. It seems to be a very personal mission and one she takes seriously: “I’ve been attempting to figure out why girls don’t take STEM subjects. Speaking to teachers is very useful and discussing it with them. What I’ve been trying to do is tailor little things towards girls who don’t generally take an interest in computing, because the girls who already like tech will be there, it’s now about attracting those girls who might previously have never considered tech as a career path. There needs to be more engagement and we need to work with them. “

Knowing that computing is where jobs are at right now, Ewa realised that she could really aid students in their choices and their parents in their understanding of what’s out there. As an Ambassador she’s thrown herself into promoting tech as a viable career option while at the same time promoting the sector to young women who might not otherwise have known about it.

She said: “I just enjoy it really. I think being part of the launch into schools of the BBC micro:bit has been quite cool to be part of. Also, because I want to go into software development it’s been quite good to see how it can be used to teach different things, what resources are out there and it helps kids see what’s possible in the future."

Would you like to request a STEM Ambassador for your school? Simply email Science Connects here.

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