01462 443050 stemdc@nhc.ac.uk

NHC Teacher Awarded Prestigious Teaching Fellowship

Feb 6, 2020

North Hertfordshire College (NHC) teacher, Shell Fearn, who runs the STEM Discovery Centre in Stevenage, has received a prestigious Technical Teaching Fellowship, one of only four teachers in the country to be awarded such an honour.

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF), in partnership with the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, presented the Fellowship to Shell at an event held at the Royal Society in London on Friday 31 January.

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding practitioners who are recognised for their high impact teaching and the delivery of effective outcomes for learners.

The four new Technical Teaching Fellows will receive up to £15,000 to share their learning and expertise across the further education sector for the benefits of students across the country. 

The STEM Discovery Centre, based on the site of Airbus’s ExoMars Rover project, is a unique education facility, to inspire young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Since the centre opened in May 2017, it has welcomed over 15,000 visitors and hosted around 200 primary and secondary schools. Shell also organises regular sell-out family events on Saturday mornings themed around science and space.

Cerian Ayres, Head of Technical Education at the Education and Training Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to the Technical Teaching Fellowship awardees. Their applications and supporting statements were testament to the quality of the technical teaching and learning that each of them facilitate. The new Fellows all showcased fantastic support to diverse groups of learners and colleagues as well as strong collaborative partnerships with employers and key stakeholders.

“I look forward to supporting the Technical Teaching Fellows to share their knowledge, skills, and insights widely with FE sector colleagues to maximise reach, engagement and impact.”

Shell Fearn, manager at the STEM Discovery Centre, said:

“As I child I was not naturally drawn to STEM subjects, until several years ago I attended a workshop at the Science Museum and learnt about alka seltzer rockets and the parallels with rocket science. It blew my mind and from that point on I developed a passion for finding ways to make science come alive for young people.

 “Being able to provide students with that “lightbulb” moment and opportunities to share my enthusiasm through the work we do at the STEM Discovery Centre is an immense privilege.”

The ETF and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 launched the Technical Teaching Fellowship programme in June 2018 with the aim to celebrate, develop and disseminate exceptional practice in technical teaching. This is to support and empower the industrial and technical expertise of individuals, who support the progression of learners to higher levels of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) study and employment.

The Technical Teaching Fellowship is a prestigious award only granted to applicants who have met the high standards required by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 selection panel.

The Fellowships will commence in the 2020/21 academic year. The awardees will also be made Fellows of the Society for Education and Training and will be awarded a year’s free membership during their participation in the programme. To find out more about the programme visit the Education and Training Foundation website.