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Andrew Hanson awarded an MBE for services to STEM education

Andrew Hanson, NPL’s Outreach manager, has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019, for his services to STEM education

Andrew has inspired hundreds of thousands of children and helped thousands of teachers and parents to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education accessible, interesting and exciting.

Whilst Andrew started his career at NPL as a physicist and colour measurement expert, in 2007 he moved into an outreach role full time. He quickly created a cohort of hundreds of Science Ambassadors, personally training and mentoring them to help with outreach activities.

Working closely with apprentices, graduates and postgraduates, he has created an army of people to meet and inspire their peers, and create appropriate role models, particularly to inspire girls and women. Every year Andrew reports on the number of activities he has overseen, events we have been to and people we engaged with. This regularly exceeds 200 events, talking to over 70,000 people each year. In 2019, he delivered his 3,000th outreach event.

Andrew has created a range of educational poster packs, of which more than 3,000 are requested each year. He has devised a number of hands-on demonstrations for NPL’s Science Ambassadors to use and organised activities such as the NPL Water Rocket Challenge, which has run for 20 years. Over 12 years his science film competitions have progressed from being solely for the London Borough of Richmond upton Thames, to an NPL national event and now an international competition run with the Council for Overseas British International Schools. He was one of the architects of the NPL Academy  which has enabled high-quality work placements for students and has been recognised by many other agencies as a model of best practice. He developed CPD sessions for teachers and trainee teachers with several groups, including the Primary Schools Network, St Mary’s University, Twickenham and the University of Roehampton,  and co-created educational resources with the Institute of Physics.

Andrew said: “STEM outreach plays a huge part in inspiring the next generation of researchers that we will need for the future. These programmes would be nothing without the people that participate in them, as inspirational role models are vital to ensure that people of all backgrounds are included and engaged. Seeing the energy these people bring to sharing knowledge and curiosity with others makes it a real privilege to be recognised for my contribution to this endeavour. It really is a shared achievement and I feel I’m accepting it on behalf of many collaborators  family, colleagues at NPL, teachers and everyone else who knows me – as no one escapes my passion for promoting STEM! Above all, I feel so lucky to have worked with a huge number of enthusiastic people to deliver a crazily large number of resources and activities that have inspired people to learn more about our world and the weird and wonderful science that keeps it turning.”

Find out more about NPL's Outreach activities

11 Jun 2019