An interview with Sophie Shapcott.
Sophie Shapcott, 21, tells all about her experience as Techniquest’s first volunteer. Sophie from Thornhill, Cardiff expressed an interest in all advertised roles Techniquest had to offer at the time of the launch in July 2019. Currently studying for her master’s in mathematics, operational research and statistics, Sophie wanted to gain experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) sector, prior to the completion of her degree.
What interested you in applying for our volunteering opportunities?
Having always enjoyed maths and science, I am lucky enough to have been brought up in Cardiff, enabling me to visit Techniquest on several occasions. I fully enjoyed my experiences and there were always enthusiastic people available to answer any questions. Therefore, having the opportunity to give something back was highly rewarding.
I would like to pass on my passion for maths and science to others, not just to children but people of all ages, whether this is through being part of the organisational / admin part of the team (behind the scenes) or the teams who implement the ideas. From my experiences, I have come across individuals who state they “can’t do maths”, and I believe that STEM subjects should be accessible to everyone. It should be portrayed in a way to inspire and encourage, showing the vast range of applications in all areas of life, which are part of Techniquest’s values.
What surprised you about the role?
The volunteering opportunity has helped my confidence grow. I enjoyed the whole experience as I’d never done anything like this before and was unsure whether I would be of any help.
Tell us more about the Summer Camps role?
I fully enjoyed the whole experience, particularly the variation encountered – the challenges and tasks changed each day! Assisting with the Summer Camp team was very rewarding, as I had the opportunity to interact with children, whilst also help (hopefully) to expand their interest in science. This role allowed me to develop my communication skills and teamwork, as well as helping me to greatly increase my confidence levels, which I am very thankful for.
Tell us more about the Project Support role?
The Project Support role was also a great experience. Finding out about the type (and quantity) of work needed ‘behind the scenes’ in order to ensure a STEM centre like Techniquest is successful was very interesting. I had the opportunity to develop multiple skills as well as identify areas where I’d like to improve. I learnt a lot from this experience and the whole team were very friendly and welcoming. Thank you very much Techniquest!
Using one word:
- What skill has the experience taught you? Communication
- What is the best thing about the role? Variety
- Describe Techniquest as an organisation? Inclusive
- Describe the placement? Rewarding
We invite applications for our volunteer programme from anyone within our local area. There are opportunities for those with or without STEM experience and we encourage a wide range of people of all skills to apply.
Since the launch of the programme, we’ve inducted 6 people into various roles and we will launch our new opportunities, within our events and operational teams throughout October.