STEM Ambassadors Programme

Case study 1: Farr Macdonald, Nuvia Ltd

In 2006, HIE launched its STEM North of Scotland Initiative in partnership with six local authorities, UHI, the Open University and Skills Development Scotland, with the aim of raising the profile and awareness of STEM amongst young people.

Through national body STEMNET, STEM North of Scotland holds the contract for the STEM Ambassadors Programme which brings young people into contact with individuals from a variety of STEM backgrounds with the aim of inspiring them through their experience and enthusiasm. There are now more than 400 STEM ambassadors in the North of Scotland who volunteer their time during the school day or on an occasional evening or weekend.

Farr Macdonald, an electrical draughtsperson from Nuvia Limited in Thurso became an ambassador in 2008 after helping at the Caithness Science Festival and other local activities. Farr recently helped a Primary 6 class from Miller Academy with the construction of a kit car to take part in the Goblin Challenge at the Grampian Motor Museum in June and accompanied the team to Alford to watch them take part. Farr commented: “The thing I most enjoy is seeing the children learn new things. It’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve helped somebody understand something and that you could have potentially changed their views on science and technology.”

Farr is one of nine ambassadors from Nuvia Limited who are avid supporters of the STEM Ambassadors Programme and encourage their employees’ involvement by allowing them to time out of their working day to take part in STEM activities. As well as feeling that they are ‘giving something back’ to their community, the ambassador programme helps with staff personal and professional development.

Farr said: “I feel I’ve gained confidence when working with groups of people. Before becoming an ambassador and taking part in the induction course, I would be quite shy and not forthcoming when working in groups, but now I feel more confident about speaking out.”

Janice Wallace, STEM ambassador coordinator said: “By helping to forge links with local schools the STEM ambassador programme also helps companies to raise an interest among future generations of potential employees and helps the young people realise the career opportunities available around them.”

If you would like to find out more about becoming a STEM ambassador, please email Janice Wallace or visit the STEM North of Scotland website or call 01463 234171.


The explore programme provides news, case studies, supply chain industry database, and details about the growing energy industry in the Highlands and Islands...