At its annual award ceremony and dinner, held on 10 July at Plaisterers’ Hall, the Engineers Trust – the charitable trust of the Worshipful Company of Engineers – presented Steve with the Stephenson Award, which recognises success in encouraging young people to study engineering. He received a medal and a cheque for £1,000.
Steve, who works for Gillingham-based Delphi Technologies and is the Vice Chair for the Institution in the Kent area, has been involved in STEM promotion and educational activities for more than a decade. His volunteering roles have included serving as an ambassador for Bloodhound SSC and for STEMNET.
“Being involved with so many diverse projects, with a wide range of organisations and students, makes it difficult to highlight a project as more interesting than the rest. However, the one I’ve been most involved with recently is a fan boat project, run in partnership with Caroline Alliston, winner of the Stephenson Award in 2016,” explained Steve.
The project sees students – key stage two and three – building fan boats using polystyrene pizza bases and electrical components – a fun and interactive way for them to learn practical skills and understanding of physics principles.
“We’ve delivered the project to more than 300 pupils this year,” explained Steve. “Thanks to funding, and with help from IMechE members and STEM hubs, we’re going to be able to continue delivering it, not only to schools in Kent but in Sussex and Essex.”
Steve was nominated for his award by Nigel Goodall, Delphi Technologies colleague and Honorary Secretary for the Institution in the Kent area.
Explaining why he put Steve’s name forward, Nigel says: “He’s an excellent communicator and his natural enthusiasm for all things engineering rubs off on the students and fellow engineers alike.”
Smith is proud of his award win and believes it’s important to keep making STEM accessible to children and young people.
“STEM has something to interest everyone. If you can make it enjoyable, they’re more likely to do well in it.”