Kayla receives Edinburgh College Development Trust STEM scholarship

An Edinburgh College HND Engineering Systems student has been awarded a scholarship which will see her working alongside College staff to inspire thousands of pupils to consider STEM careers.

Kayla Ho, who studies at the College’s Midlothian Campus, has been named the David Doig Foundation STEM scholar for 2020 following a successful interview. Kayla’s role is to help deliver the College’s STEM Inspiration Experience programme to P7, S1 and S2 pupils for the remainder of term 2019/20.

The Edinburgh College Development Trust originally received funding from the David Doig Foundation to run the scholarship in 2018. Kayla is the second scholar and will use the opportunity to boost her CV and gain work experience in working as part of a team and with young people from across the region.

Nineteen-year-old Kayla will work with College staff each week to deliver STEM Inspiration Days where pupils take part in a range of activities such as:

  • Exploring gravity and g-force. Students launch eggs attached to parachutes from height to see which ones survive. This uses everyday objects to make the science tangible, accessible, interactive and fun.
  • The Bloodhound Rocket Car Challenge. This is part of the national engagement project around the Bloodhound land-speed record attempt, giving pupils the opportunity to design, build and race their own rocket cars. They learn about physics, aerodynamics, design and the mechanisms of speed.
  • Bridge building where pupils design and build a two-foot cardboard bridge and test it using a heavy car model.

Embedded within each of these sessions is the importance of Maths and its application in Engineering and Science.

Kayla, who is from Edinburgh, said: “It’s brilliant to be this year’s STEM scholar. I’ve had previous experience with working with young people, but the opportunity to teach them STEM and Engineering-related disciplines is new and exciting, and will be great for my CV.”

Gillian Doig, who founded the David Doig Foundation in memory of her late husband who was an alumnus of Telford College, said: “Congratulations to Kayla on becoming our second STEM scholar. We’re very proud to fund this project which will bring benefits to Kayla in terms of work experience but also to so many young people across Edinburgh and Lothians.

“My late husband was a champion of, engineering, education and social responsibility and this scholarship represents this brilliantly. We look forward to hearing how Kayla progresses through her scholarship, as well as her future career.”

Looking to the future, Kayla is hoping to progress to Edinburgh Napier University where she will go into the third year of an Energy and Environmental Engineering course and hopes to secure work in the fast-growing Scottish renewables sector.

She said: “With Scotland, and the world, moving to renewable energy sources, it made sense to pursue this career path. I want to be able to discover new ground-breaking ways of working and make the world a better place.”