Rachel Riley

The Bright Ideas Challenge Ambassador: Rachel Riley

The Bright Ideas Challenge Ambassador

Rachel is best known as the numbers expert on Channel 4’s long-running quiz show Countdown.

Having graduated from Oriel College, Oxford with a degree in Mathematics, Rachel is passionate about supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) amongst young people. That is why she is the ambassador for The Bright Ideas Challenge, supporting the competition to inspire the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

Rachel will be at a prototyping workshop to support the winners in creating 3D printed prototypes of their bright ideas, and at Make the Future Live, Shell’s festival of ideas and innovation, to announce the national champions of The Bright Ideas Challenge.

'Young people are unhampered by conventional thinking and this makes them a fountain of ingenious ideas. It’s so important that we tap into that natural creativity and fire young people’s natural curiosity about the world around them. Like Shell, I want to encourage more young people to pursue science and engineering and use these skills to help create a brighter future for everyone.'

Bobby Seagull

The Bright Ideas Challenge Judge, Bobby Seagull

The Bright Ideas Challenge Judge

If you’re a fan of BBC Two’s University Challenge, you may recognise Bobby from the 2016-17 series, when his team from Emmanuel College Cambridge earned a place in the semi-final on the show.

Bobby is a maths teacher and doctoral student, with a keen interest in spreading a love for mathematics and exploring ways people can overcome their fear and anxiety of the subject.

Alongside an expert judging panel including representatives from Imperial College, the Shell Scenarios team and Young Scientists Journal, Bobby will help select the regional winners and finalists of The Bright Ideas Challenge.

'The Bright Ideas Challenge is a brilliant way to tap into young people's natural optimism and the passion so many of them have for creating a brighter future. Students respond really positively to applying the STEM theory they're learning in the classroom to real world future challenges. For many, seeing the way in which they can use their STEM skills to improve lives is the key that helps them see these subjects in a different light. It gives their learning new relevance and purpose.'

Dr Emily Grossman

The Bright Ideas Challenge Science Communication Mentor, Dr Emily Grossman

The Bright Ideas Challenge Science Communication Mentor

Emily was recently named as the second Honorary STEM Ambassador, alongside astronaut Tim Peake, for her pioneering work in STEM education and as a role model to young people.

With a Natural Sciences degree from Queens’ College Cambridge and PhD in cancer research, Emily is an experienced science communicator for ITV and Sky 1 and a passionate advocate for gender equality and diversity in STEM.

Emily will be joining the winners of The Bright Ideas Challenge to deliver a science communication workshop, to help them prepare to exhibit their bright ideas to the public at Make the Future Live.

‘It’s so important that we show young students the wide range of careers available to people with STEM qualifications, and that these careers need people with all sorts of different qualities. Science isn’t just about brains and logic, it’s also about creativity, collaboration and compassion too. Young people should see people just like them being happy and successful in STEM careers. The Bright Ideas Challenge builds students’ confidence in STEM subjects by giving them the opportunity to work together and find innovative solutions, while developing the skills required to succinctly communicate their ideas too. Whether it’s at school, during the communications workshop or at Make the Future Live, I hope our winners find their STEM role model.’

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