Becoming a STEM Ambassador

21 September, 2020

Tamma Carel, Director of Imvelo, is a keen volunteer. When she’s not saving hedgehogs or litter picking, she’s making various other contributions to her community. When it comes to sustainability and being a female influencer, Tamma is what she preaches.

Tamma is a walking, talking, Sustainable Development Goal activist, and recently she’s been working on SDGs 4, 5, and 10: Quality Education, Gender Equality, and Reduced Inequalities respectively.

To do that, she has become a STEM Ambassador.

Tamma signed up as a STEM Ambassador in December 2018 and very quickly became an active Ambassador for the North East Hub team, already clocking up over 150 hours of volunteering (up to September 2020). Tamma’s first activity was a yearlong mentoring scheme with 2 Y9 girls, meeting once per fortnight to inspire them and help shape their careers.

At the same time, Tamma was also supporting other schools with additional requests such as primary school careers week, secondary school careers talks and mock interviews as well as working with apprentices and interns within her company to help them gain the skills they need.

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, all of which are industries that are typically dominated by men. A STEM ambassador promotes these subjects to young people (read more).

Tamma has taken part in many activities as part of her STEM Ambassador volunteering covering a range of topics and areas including mentoring, primary school careers week, secondary school careers talks, mock interviews, assemblies, hands-on practical’s and promoting best practise to other Ambassadors. This variety of activity means that she has reached hundreds of young people and teachers alike. Imvelo’s focus on the environment and wider sustainability mean Tamma’s message isn’t about recruitment for her own company, rather it’s about the bigger picture and getting young people to see that there could and should be a role for them in this type of work if they choose. It’s about raising aspirations and opening the eyes of the young people and helping them to see the skills they’ll most likely need in the future.

Tamma’s mission

Tamma has worked closely alongside the North East STEM Ambassador Hub and has become a real ‘go-to’ Ambassador due to her drive and willingness to support the region.

Imvelo is built around sustainable development goals and Tamma has spent extensive time and consideration tracking the career possibilities available based around these goals. She has mapped her business against them, showing how she is sustainable and ethical and therefore how this can apply to other businesses, including:

  • SDG 4 – Quality Education
  • SDG 5 – Gender equality
  • SDG 8 – D ecent work and economic growth
  • SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities

Tamma’s dedication in this area has enabled her to develop careers talks on each of the various areas to allow young people to see a possible career path for themselves as well as the skills they’ll need to develop for that route. Rather than looking at current jobs and careers, Tamma considers what is likely to be needed in the future to enable young people to move into more sustainable areas of work.

The environmental world is very entwined with STEM, so Tamma wants to encourage young girls to embrace these subjects. So far she has given talks at several schools, including Durham High School for Girls, at Jesmond Primary, at Newcastle University, and in honour of events such as Ada Lovelace Day (2018).

As well as these more public talks, Tamma has acted as a personal mentor to two Year 9 girls at Sacred Heart High School in Fenham. Frankie and Grace met with Tamma every fortnight for 6 months and it’s an experience that all 3 parties found very rewarding (here’s another success story, one that inspired Tamma). Tamma is now mentoring a student from Manchester University via the 1 Million Mentor Network

See Tamma with Frankie and Grace below.

Tamma has been highlighted for her work, in local newspapers, these include 20 Women in STEM to watch in 2018 and The North East Based Women at the Forefront of Promoting STEM.  Additionally, Imvelo was awarded the Business and Industry Today ‘Sustainability today company of the year 2019’ which included an award and a press release distributed nationally.

 

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