Serena is studying her A-levels in Edinburgh and Anamarija studying for a Chemistry degree at Heriot-Watt University. They were 2 of 5 prize winners at MonsterConfidence Edinburgh in 2017 and visited Veolia’s London sites during March 2018.
At the beginning and throughout the day, it was lovely to meet the other girls who had also won the trip to London. Everyone was there because they displayed Monster Confidence and had an interest in STEM. I have learnt that STEM can be accessible even when you do not pursue a STEM career path, and that it can be linked to many other jobs and also I realised that you can be creative whilst studying STEM instead of regarding subjects such as music or art as completely separate. My confidence has improved over this trip especially since I had the chance to meet new people and my favourite part was learning how Veolia processes rubbish and how the rubbish is then recycled. I had an interest in the process of recycling prior to the trip and exploring the numerous ways that things can be recycled was interesting and many creative ideas were expressed. I know that plastic waste is an important issue right now and I think it was great that attention is being brought to the need to recycle.
The Veolia experience day in London was another chance for me to meet more people in the STEM industry as well to meet other winners of the STEMettes 2017 tour.
Meeting other girls was nice as each of them brought a new perspective of the STEM subjects as each of them was interested in something different. As the oldest participant there, I really liked their brainstorming and innovative ideas they had during the workshops.
The Veolia tour was very “eye-opening” – I learned so much more about the recycling and where does our waste go. Even though I knew we are producing a lot waste every day, the figures mentioned in tons for only small area of the world was nerve-racking and frightening and will probably make me fight for the environment even more than I did before.
I also loved hearing a lot of women working in Veolia speaking about their journey to Veolia and how all of them have different backgrounds. Some of them don’t even have a STEM background, but they proved that with any kind of knowledge, you can contribute to science every day and improve the life on earth.
One of my favourite parts was being able to speak with Lisa McKenzie that was delivering the presentation at the MonsterConfidence Edinburgh. I loved her calmness and knowledge she showed by answering to many questions I had. I enjoyed our conversations and I hope I will meet her again, hopefully on some environment focused project!
learn more about MonsterConfidence and get involved in the next tour, visit monsterconfidence.co.uk