Four Dundee school pupils have taken their first steps into a STEM career by completing internships at Dundee Science Centre.
Sixth-year pupils Katya Walls (Morgan Academy), Zuzanna Liro (Braeview Academy), Rae Garvock (Craigie High School) and Charlie Henderson (Baldragon Academy) completed a four-week, paid internship through the Career Ready programme.
(Katya, Rae, Zuzanna and Charlie. Credit – Alan Richardson, Pix-AR, Dundee.)
In their public-facing roles, they were tasked to take a proactive, hands-on approach to 5-star operational delivery and customer service, working across the reception, gift shop and Café Create (including barista and ‘CookSafe’ training) while developing science communication skills through interactions with the public. The programme aims to unlock young talent while adding value to business.
One of the interns, Rae Garvock, commented, “Throughout this internship, I have been given a mountain of opportunities which I am extremely grateful for. Before starting at Dundee Science Centre, I was shy and nervous to talk to people because I was isolated during lockdown. My time here has helped me develop my confidence and given me new ideas about the career I want to pursue.”
Founded in 2002, Career Ready is a national social mobility charity at the heart of a network of employers and educators who all believe that every young person, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future. The Dundee Science Centre placements were made possible by University of Dundee who provided mentors and funding which, combined with Scottish Government support, ensured a Living Wage pay for each intern.
Nicola Stanley-Wall, Professor of Microbiology and Academic Lead for Public Engagement for the School of Life Sciences added, “At the University of Dundee, social purpose is at the heart of what we do, both in our research and wider communities. It is a privilege to be a part of the Career Ready family, sharing the opportunities that science can offer while supporting talented young people to achieve their goals.”
Lorraine Lemon, Head of Business Development, said, “This programme is an important part of the work we do at Dundee Science Centre, inspiring young minds and creating opportunities for them to build confidence in not only themselves but their ability to move into STEM career pathways. Our partners have funded this programme, and we look forward to continuing it and extending our partnership opportunities.”
Dundee Science Centre’s 2023 intake follows the programme’s success last year, after which two young people were recruited as employees.
Ayo Alli, Visitor Experience Assistant, added, “Being part of the Career Ready programme and getting to work at Dundee Science Centre has been a fantastic opportunity for me. I have learned a lot of transferable skills in communication, adaptability and customer service. The whole experience inspired me to study Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, which I look forward to starting in September. The opportunities I received here opened doors I never knew existed.”