Ambassador award for Earth Sciences lecturer
(27 July 2006)
A Durham Earth Sciences lecturer has been singled out for championing his subject in schools. Dr Stuart Jones has become Science and Engineering Ambassador (SEA) of the Year.
The award was made by SETPOINT North East for his significant contribution to science outreach activities. SETPOINT is a joint initiative of the DTI, DfES and the Engineering & Technology Board (ETB) which provides the opportunity for practising scientists and engineers to work with and inspire young people. The SEA programme aims to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects more accessible and relevant and encourage the flow of suitably qualified, well-motivated people into STEM industry and academia. Dr Jones has worked extensively with North East schools promoting Earth Sciences and research at Durham University and introducing a new level three Earth Science module. This was developed to encourage Earth and Natural sciences undergraduates to consider teaching as a career. It supplies students with valuable transferable skills that would be useful in other career paths and gives teachers a knowledgeable and enthusiastic assistant from the University who is able to offer practical help and engage pupils in Earth Sciences. The module, now in its second year at Durham’s Earth Sciences department, is the only one in the UK. There has been no shortage of enthusiasm amongst current students who recognise its benefits and the key skills not provided by other modules. Several have already applied for teacher-training courses as a direct result of this module. Congratulating Dr Jones on his award, Professor Robert Holdsworth said: “It is a move in the right direction towards inspiring the next generation about Earth sciences.”