One Kent school will soon be splashing out on its STEM club after winning the first Know H₂ow Awards created by South East Water to inspire the next generation to think about a career in water.

Homewood School in Tenterden was one of several schools participating in the inaugural programme where students were invited to discover the know-how behind their drinking water and challenged to use their STEM skills to work on a project tackling some genuine challenges faced by the water company.

South East Water launched the programme in January by giving the Key Stage 3 students a guided tour of Arlington Reservoir in Sussex where they learned about where their water comes from and how it is treated, as well as showcasing the company’s ongoing commitment to protecting the environment.

Over the course of the next four months, each of the participating schools researched and designed a nature trail app, presenting their final designs at an awards event hosted and judged by a panel of South East Water’s expert staff.

Jo Osborn, Head of Communications and STEM Ambassador for South East Water said: “The Know H₂ow Awards were created to engage with young people and provide an understanding of how science, technology, engineering and maths subjects apply to the world of work. It’s been a great opportunity for us to engage with our future customers and we hope employees, inspiring an interest and understanding of what it takes to supply top quality water to your taps.

“Each school we worked with submitted fantastic projects and we were overwhelmed with all the final designs produced by the students, but Homewood School’s project was simply incredible and deserving of their prize.”

Dr Ajay Sharman, STEM Regional Network Lead for London and the South East, said: “Reacting to real-life design challenges and interacting with role models like STEM Ambassadors are both recognised as key ways to encourage an investigative and creative approach to STEM.

“It was clear that South East Water’s Know H₂ow Awards gave these young people the tools to experiment with confidence and pride, and it was an honour to see what they achieved and how they engaged with STEM in new ways. I hope the students are inspired by this opportunity and go on to consider STEM choices and STEM Careers for the future.”

If your school has a STEM club and would like to get involved in next year's awards, please contact South East Water at awards@southeastwater.co.uk to register your interest.

To find out more about careers at South East Water, visit www.careers.southeastwater.co.uk.

Reacting to real-life design challenges and interacting with role models like STEM Ambassadors are both recognised as key ways to encourage an investigative and creative approach to STEM
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