BBC News’s Steph McGovern joins celebrate science event

Steph McGovern, the BBC Breakfast presenter, joined hundreds of year 9 and 10 students from across Black Country schools when Dudley College held its annual Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) event. The event aimed at promoting career opportunities in STEM involved students taking part in a range of fun activities across the STEM curriculum. Students competed to build and launch a rocket, create DNA jewellery and to have-a-go at virtual welding. To demonstrate the importance of Maths in code breaking, the students took on the role of spies and deciphered Dudley’s own Enigma Code.

Steph who began presenting BBC Breakfast news in 2012 and was recently named Financial Broadcast Journalist of the Year was the special guest at the event as she has a long standing interest in the STEM curriculum. Having studied Maths, Physics, Design Technology and Business Studies in her teens which culminated in her being voted Young Engineer for Britain at the age of 19, she once thought she would make engineering her career. But work experience on BBC’s flagship Technology programme: Tomorrow’s World led to other opportunities on BBC Radio 4, before she moved on to becoming a producer of BBC One’s Six and Ten O’Clock news bulletins.

Commenting on the STEM event Steph said: “I loved the subjects I studied at College and I’m still excited by all the advances I see being made every day, across the various disciplines. I’m particularly interested in the appliance of science to solve industrial problems and that’s why I’m passionate about promoting career opportunities in engineering in particular.”

Neil Thomas, Vice Principal of Dudley College, responsible for the College’s curriculum said: “Our STEM celebration day is an important way for us to showcase the range of subjects we offer related to STEM pathways. We have a target that at least 60% of our students will be following at least one programme of study in STEM related subjects by 2019, so we want young people to appreciate the wealth of opportunities available and how rewarding a career in these areas can be.”

Talking about the development of the new £12m Centre for Advanced Building and Environmental Technologies he added: “By building on our strengths we are expanding our curriculum further to inspire more young people to take up careers in STEM subjects, particularly where local employers have a skills shortage.”

Acknowledging Steph’s contribution to the event he said: “We were delighted Steph was able to fit a visit to the College into her very busy schedule, she is as a role model for young people, especially young women, whom we want to attract more of into our engineering programmes.”

Students from a range of Black Country Schools including Bishop Milner, Heath park, Dormston, Hillcrest and Redhill took part in the event which has become a key part of the College’s activities in helping students make the right choices about their future careers.

Take a look at the great set of photos from the event ...