#iwill Young Scientist Champion
1052. Mhairi McCann
Mhairi McCann, aged 19 from Inverclyde, is dedicated to engaging young people in science and has developed a project using funding from ‘The Hunter Foundation’ to provide opportunities for local young people in STEM subjects.
A runner-up in the Senior Science category at the ‘Big Bang Competition’, the UK’s national competition for young scientists and engineers, Mhairi has shared her experiences with the ‘British Science Association’ and the ‘Royal Society of Biology’ to influence the science engagement work they carry out with students across the UK. She is the driving force behind the ‘Young Scientists Journal’ team, providing a platform for young people from around the world to publish their work and have their achievements recognised and celebrated.
Mhairi has recently been selected as an #iwill Ambassador by the #iwill campaign, which seeks to make social action a part of life for all young people by 2020. The campaign’s annual #iwillWeek, this year 12-16th November, is an opportunity for the 900 cross-sector partners of the #iwill campaign to join together to celebrate the impact young people are having on communities across the UK, and to champion the voices of young people making a difference. Mhairi was presented with her award at the #iwillWeek event held at Kew Gardens by Lord Gardiner.
In a personal letter to Mhairi, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your passion for science and volunteering is developing new opportunities for young people to participate in STEM subjects. By sharing your experiences with leading societies, research centres, and academic journals, you are helping the next generation of scientists to access STEM resources and have their work acknowledged and celebrated.”
Charlotte Hill, CEO of ‘Step Up To Serve’, which coordinates the #iwill campaign, said:
“At the #iwill campaign we know that young people have the energy, ideas and drive to address issues in their community and to tackle many of society’s tougher challenges. We are so pleased to see the Prime Minister recognising the astounding achievements that Mhairi has made through her volunteering, fundraising and campaigning, and hope this inspires Mhairi and other young people to continue their fantastic work.”
“I am totally surprised and really humbled to receive this award, as I had no idea I had been nominated! I started volunteering because I wanted to help others and give back to the community, and it quickly became something I got a lot out of and really enjoyed. I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve had through volunteering, and I will continue to just try my best to do my bit, as the greatest reward is always seeing how you’ve helped make a positive difference for others.”
Pictured below: Mhairi (third from left) with Lord Gardiner (centre) at the #iwillWeek 2018 event held at Kew Gardens, alongside fellow Points of Light winning #iwill ambassadors Amy Meek, Ella Meek, Lucia Mee, Anna McGovern and Dara McAnulty (credit: Barima Owusu Nyantekyi)