Wycombe High School STEM Society

STEM Science

Wycombe High School STEM Society was created with the aim of exposing students to potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by hosting talks delivered by professionals in these areas.

We have been delighted to host many guests since the start of the year.  In the Spring Term, we have hosted talks by four speakers so far.

In January, David Garmon-Jones gave a talk on careers in pharmaceuticals, i.e the creation of drugs
and medicines. He talked about his 35 year career in the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, he has
been working with French Company MedDay Pharma, on a promising new treatment for multiple
sclerosis. Previously, he was the UK Managing Director of Merck, a prominent pharmaceutical
company. David gave advice and recommendations on how to get to the top in Pharma, and why his
job was so important in combatting diseases and and treating health problems. He also talked about
the management side of STEM careers, and how it was possible to go into the field even if you didn’t
care much for science at school. David’s talk was a wonderful start to the Spring Term, and we all
found it highly informative.

Our second talk in 2019 was delivered by Dr Amy Hong via Skype.  Amy’s talk focused on the intersection between art and science. She has degrees in applied biology as well as documentary making, and she completed a PhD in immunology. Amy talked about her career as a documentary maker and science outreach worker. She has created several science-based board games for international charities to spread enthusiasm for science to people who wouldn’t usually be exposed to it, such as people in remote villages and international students. Amy is also the founder of M.A.D Edu, a company which helps people understand science through creative and fun methods. Amy’s talk was inspiring and engaging, and provided key insights into how art and science combine.

Early in February, we had two speakers from the Simpsons Associates come in and give a talk about careers in engineering. Jack
Hadley and Philip Baxter were both a product of Simpsons Associates internship scheme, and they talked about the benefit of
internships, as well as paths into engineering. Simpsons associates provides a four-year internship course. It comes with a
degree in civil engineering, as well as paid work experience as an engineer with the company. Jack and Philip talked about building projects that they had worked on, and why it may be more beneficial for students to head straight into the workforce. This talk gave a new look into career
paths after school and higher education.

The most recent talk was delivered by Jayne Ballinger on International Women in Science Day. Jayne is the Chief Pharmacist of the Wycombe-Stokenchurch hospital, and she spoke about her career as a pharmacist as well as careers in pharmaceuticals. Jayne also talked about lesser-known careers in healthcare, such as a radiologist or orthodist. Jayne gave a dynamic and incredibly interesting talk, and
we are very grateful to her for being able to join us.

We have several talks lined up for the rest of the Spring Term. On the 11th of March, Amanda Flanagan, the General Manager of Grunenthal UK, will be delivering a talk about pain relief manufacture. On the 18th of March, Jeremy Holmes, a researcher at Imperial College London, will be giving a talk on doing science at university. On the 25th March, Ione Smith will be giving a talk on Landrover Jaguar and the manufacture of cars. All talks take place on Mondays in the Conference Room at 2pm. Come along if you are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics!

Written by Anna Kate Fishcer, Year 10 Curie 7

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