University student from Waterlooville, 19, awarded the British Empire Medal for getting children into science
A STUDENT has urged others to learn to love science after she was named a recipient of the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, aged just 19.
Lauren Shea from Waterlooville has earned the award for her role in promoting Stem subjects – those to do with science, technology, engineering and mathematics – among young people.
The former Alton School pupil was given a science scholarship in 2016 and became an ambassador for Stem promoter Teen Tech in 2017.
Since then she has made it her mission to encourage young people of all ages to unearth their scientific ability, by visiting schools and nurseries locally and nationally.
The endeavours even saw her named in The Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35 in 2017 – the only schoolgirl on the list.
‘I was very overwhelmed,' Lauren said of the moment she learned of her BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
'It's an incredible feeling to be recognised for doing something that doesn't feel like a chore to me at all.
'I feel like a lot of people don't realise how broad Stem is and I think they take the name too literally.
'People who do creative subjects for example might think they're not, but they may be just as capable as those who take pure science.
'These stigmas need to be addressed and that gap needs to be bridged. It would open up so many careers.'
Lauren now studies mechanical engineering at Cardiff University, but remains a prominent voice for Teen Tech.
Giving advice to other young people wanting their strengths at school, she said: ‘Get involved in any projects or fun, extra-curricular activities.
'I never realised I would be interested in engineering at all until I got involved in Teen Tech.'