Bethan picks up awards at sci­ence event in China

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

A HINCK­LEY teenager has dom­i­nated an awards cer­e­mony in China, fly­ing the flag for young women in sci­ence.

18-year-old Bethan Pad­bury was given the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the UK at Cas­tic - China Ado­les­cents Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Con­test, fol­low­ing her suc­cess­ful win at The Big Bang Fair in March.

The Big Bang UK Young Sci­en­tists and Engi­neers Fair is the coun­try’s largest cel­e­bra­tion of Stem - a com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics - for young peo­ple. Bethan at­tended the com­pe­ti­tion in Chongqing, where she was able to present her project to sev­eral rounds of judges along with fel­low young sci­en­tists and engi­neers from 42 other par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

“I felt the ex­pe­ri­ence was so sur­real as I’d never ex­pected be­ing of­fered an op­por­tu­nity like this,” said Bethan.

“I had an im­mense feel­ing of pride to be able to rep­re­sent the coun­try as a young woman in STEM on such a plat­form.

“By the end of the week, I had made friend­ships all over the globe.

“I re­ceived one of the Sec­ond Place Awards along with one of the Gao Shiqi spe­cial prizes for dis­sem­i­nat­ing Sci­ence.”

The bud­ding sci­en­tist says she was grate­ful to be sur­rounded by fe­male Stem teach­ers, who have in­spired her to be­come a women in sci­ence, she says: “I was for­tu­nate enough to be sur­rounded by amaz­ing fe­male Stem teach­ers who have set an ex­am­ple for me, par­tic­u­larly at A level ed­u­ca­tion.

“They have al­ways in­spired me to achieve in sci­ence and pro­vided in­cred­i­ble sup­port through­out my school life.”

Upon her suc­cess, Bethan hopes to achieve a masters de­gree in Physics, which she will be study­ing at Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity.

She has also spo­ken of her pas­sion to en­cour­age more fe­males to get in­volved in the sub­ject, “Girls in sci­ence need to be en­cour­aged in their cu­rios­ity, pas­sion and am­bi­tion to achieve in sci­ence,” adds Bethan.

“I have cer­tainly felt the gen­der im­bal­ance like the feel­ing of be­ing in an A2 Physics class of a fe­male to male ra­tio of 1:5.

“This is par­tially the prod­uct of young women not feel­ing that physics is a place for them which is some­thing I wish to change in the fu­ture.”

Next year’s Big Bang Fair will take place from March 13 to March 16 at the NEC in Birm­ing­ham, and en­tries for the on­line com­pe­ti­tion are also open through the web­site at http:// www.the­big­bang­ for any young read­ers that want to fol­low in Bethan’s foot­steps.

18-year-old Bethan Pad­bury (right in both pic­tures) was given the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the UK at Cas­tic, a Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion con­test in China. She rep­re­sented the UK along­side GSK Young Sci­en­tist of the Year, Emily Xu, 19, from Lon­don

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