Discovering My Path in STEM: An Incredible Year 12 Summer with In2scienceUK

In our most recent blog post, we invited Fiyin, one of our exceptional In2science (now In2STEM) summer programme participants and Digital Ambassadors to reflect on her inspiring journey and reveal how the In2science programme played a pivotal role in cultivating her skills and nurturing her passion for STEM.

In this blog post, let’s dive into Joshua’s transformative Year 12 summer, discovering how the In2science programme has been instrumental in shaping his future aspirations in STEM. From engaging workshops and hands-on experiences to inspiring mentors, this experience has truly set him on a path of academic and professional growth.

“At the end of Year 12, like many, I was still not sure what I wanted to study at university. However, I was certain it would be in STEM. So, I took a leap and applied to the In2science summer programme. Since then, the In2science summer programme has been the highlight of my Year 12 summer, and I truly believe that it was the best way to spend this pivotal period of time.

The summer between Year 12 and Year 13 is very important because the way you spend it can strengthen your university application. And the In2science summer programme provided me with a wealth of workshops going over a range of topics, from interview skills to panels on careers in STEM. These workshops were not only informative but also incredibly relevant for the stage we are at in this 2-year journey. Personally, I found these workshops helpful because they allowed me to hear from industry professionals who had been in my position and could provide the best advice for me moving forward. The workshops also helped me make an informed decision, as I gained insights into different fields I was considering studying at university.

The In2science summer programme also involves a research placement where you and a group of other STEM-inclined individuals undergo a placement in a department of a university or a company with a focus on an area of STEM you are interested in. I was fortunate enough to have a placement with CASA (Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis) at UCL, and my host was Jon Reades, an Associate Professor of Spatial Data Science. He was nothing short of exemplary, not just for me, but for the whole cohort. I can confidently say this because he was awarded In2scienceUK’s Host of the Week Award.

The entire CASA team contributed to making this experience as fun and informative as possible. My placement lasted a week, and each day was as packed as the next. We learned about what goes on at CASA and what impact it can have on the ever-changing world we live in.

CASA is an interdisciplinary institute, where people with different expertise come together to achieve a common goal. In this case, the common goal is the science of cities. Over the course of my placement, we used industry software to run simulations on how different groups interact with each other, and we learned how to use data arrays to create heat maps. The most exciting part of the placement for me was when we used Arduinos to create a device that raises awareness of heat waves in cities. We learned how to use Arduinos and had a go at being creative to make the product somewhat aesthetically pleasing (as you can see in the photo, I failed in the second part).

The most eye-opening experience for me during the entire placement was when we took a field trip to Brixton to gain a better understanding of the gentrification taking place there. It was eye-opening because I was shocked to see an area so rich in history being treated like it was an eyesore in need of a do-over.

The placement was the highlight of the program for me, and I want to extend a massive thank you to the CASA team for making it so outstanding. Over the course of the program, I made many friends and saw STEM in a new light. As a result, I have been able to decide what I will be applying to study at university. I am without a doubt that this experience will be invaluable for my personal statement, and I strongly recommend it to any incoming Year 12 students. Finally, I want to extend my gratitude towards In2scienceUK for taking me on as a Digital Ambassador. The skills I have learned throughout the process will undoubtedly aid me as the years go on.”

Blog post by Joshua, 2023 In2science Summer Programme Participant

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