Minister Owen Bonnici launched the first edition of the National STEM Awards, which will be hosted at the Esplora Interactive Science Centre.
The aim of this award scheme is that of acknowledging and honouring the contribution of Maltese or Malta-based professionals to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to society at large. These awards are an initiative of the STEM Engagement Working Group chaired by Esplora.
For the purpose of these awards, STEM subjects are understood as life sciences, physical sciences including earth sciences, mathematics, IT, engineering and environmental science.
Minister Bonnici said that; “It is our duty to recognise and honour our professionals for the contribution they give in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and thus, in our society in general. This is the main aim of these STEM Awards, in order to create more awareness regarding the subjects mentioned, both locally and abroad.”
MCST Chairperson Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who was also present for the launch, remarked that; “There is an obvious skills gap in certain sectors, particularly those related to STEM. Through initiatives such as the National STEM Awards, the Working Group is playing an important role in stimulating public interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, thus contributing to addressing this phenomenon.” He added that the awards ceremony will be held biennially and is a platform to acknowledge and honour the impeccable and tireless work of professionals working in different fields of STEM – ranging from education, the economy and society at large.
The 2021 National STEM Awards will be awarded for the following categories: Best Primary Class Teacher for Inspiring Children in STEM, Best Secondary School Teacher for Contribution to STEM, Lifetime Contribution to STEM, Young Researcher, Engaged Researcher, Women in STEM, STEM Ambassador, Best STEM Employer, Best STEM Community Project and Best STEAM Project (People’s Choice).
Those interested in nominating themselves or a STEM professional/project/entity of their choice, are kindly asked to send their nomination by 15 February 2021 via the online form available at the following link https://esplora.org.mt/national-stem-awards-guidelines-for-nominators-and-nominees/, which also includes information about General Conditions for Nomination and Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria.
In addition, a STEM Career poster exhibition featuring local STEM professionals will be displayed at Esplora from January to March. Furthermore, a series of four videos and a digital booklet featuring local STEM professionals have also been produced and are available for free download from http://esplora.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/STEM-Booklet-1.pdf.