Joy Parvin awarded the SCI Science for Society Award

News | Posted on Tuesday 19 September 2023

The Society of Chemical Industry Yorkshire and Humber Division has awarded its ‘Science for Society Award 2023’ to Joy Parvin from the University of York’s Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC).

Image of Joy Parvin smiling

The award is in recognition of Joy's work, over many years, to combat science stereotypes and to help children from a wide range of backgrounds understand that a career in science is possible.

A background in chemical engineering and primary teaching convinced Joy that many children were being disadvantaged due to fixed ideas about who could, and could not, study science, with many children feeling that it wasn’t a career open to ‘people like me’. She also realised that science-based industries were missing out on a large pool of talent as many potential scientists opted out at an early age by choosing non-STEM subjects at secondary school.

Since joining CIEC in 1992 Joy has worked with scientists in industry to help them to explain their science to young people and to develop activities that make credible links between the science that happens on industrial sites and the primary science curriculum. She has also supported primary teachers to deliver engaging and relevant science lessons that capture the interest of young scientists and open their eyes to a wide range of STEM careers. 

As director of CIEC since 2008 Joy has led a growing team of advisory teachers in Yorkshire, Humber and beyond to continue the work which, evidence shows, continues to have a lasting impact on the lives of the young people it touches. Every year hundreds of children take part in CIEC’s innovative Children Challenging Industry (CCI) programme. They experience science lessons delivered by a specialist CIEC advisory teacher as well as lessons from their class teacher after they have received training from CIEC. They then visit a linked industry site where they are able to see the science that they have done in school taking place on a much larger scale. These visits are led by STEM professionals who have been supported by CIEC to develop the skills needed to share their knowledge appropriately with young people.

The Society of Chemical Industry ‘Science for Society Award’ aims to recognise influential contributions to science education which provide a major benefit to society in the Yorkshire and the Humber region as well as beyond. As a result of Joy’s work many children who would not traditionally have considered studying STEM subjects have gone on to have a career in science.

Joy will receive her award in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds at 3pm on 22 September 2023 where she will deliver her award lecture Sparking curiosity: Igniting a passion for science careers in young minds”.