A Kirkcaldy High teacher has been awarded a top accolade.
Helen Higham, a chemistry teacher, received the STEMNET STEM Teacher award for her efforts to inspire youngsters to participate in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Awards were presented in six categories by BBC Journalist Steph McGovern and STEMNET’s CEO Kirsten Bodley to winners from across the UK, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council is providing the winners with an exclusive visit to CERN. Winners will fly to Geneva in December, where
they will have the opportunity to see cutting edge science in action, as well as meet with top physicists and engineers from across the facility.
Helen Higham is a Chemistry teacher who also volunteered to be Kirkcaldy High School’s STEM co-ordinator and runs the school’s STEM Club. Helen leads the annual employability event with more 25 STEM Ambassadors and makes a priority of helping to break down stereotypes and promote positive role models for girls in STEM.
Helen’s efforts have also supported the school to achieve the highest number of pupils gaining Engineering Scholarships out of all Scottish state schools.
“This award is really the accumulation of a lot of work by a lot of people,” said Helen at the ceremony. “Fife has massive STEM based career progression. We are lucky that there are so many opportunities for pupils to develop towards positive destinations in STEM subjects so it’s really up to us to try and make sure the pupils are leaving school with the skills they need to succeed in these jobs.”
Commenting, Roger Mullin MP said: “Helen’s efforts to encourage interest and participation in STEM subjects amongst young people in my constituency have been extraordinary. It is incredible to know that her hard work has resulted in more Kirkcaldy High School pupils obtaining Engineering Scholarships than at any other Scottish state school – an outstanding achievement.
“I have a keen interest in STEM myself and understand the economic importance of ensuring continued uptake of these subjects amongst schoolchildren in order to guarantee a future generation skilled in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“I intend to lodge an Early Day Motion in Parliament to congratulate Helen on an extremely well-deserved award and will be writing to her shortly to pass on my personal congratulations. I’m sure that Helen will continue to inspire Kirkcaldy High School pupils to pursue careers in STEM in the hope
that they can develop their potential to become leading figures in these industries in the future.”
“We believe in the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as areas that are inherent to success,” said Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive at STEMNET, “We are very proud that our programmes, partners and amazing volunteers are having a real impact and we are now working in 95 per cent of UK secondary schools. It motivates us to build on our achievements and support more teachers and inspire more young people in STEM.”