Students receive national recognition at Access to Science awards ceremony

Three students from Cornwall have been invited to receive national recognition from the Royal Society of Chemistry at an awards ceremony in London.

Lauren Barry from Newquay, Amy Hambly-Symons from Falmouth, and Samuel Powell from Padstow, who study at Truro and Penwith College, are among 25 of the UK’s top-performing students on a dual scheme that grants the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science along with the Registered Scientist Technician Award (RSciTech). Their selection for the awards was based on their presentation of an individual research project earlier in the year.

The awards ceremony, held at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s London headquarters, Burlington House, saw students from across the country presented with their certificates.

Recognising the students’ achievements, Sir John Holman, Royal Society of Chemistry President elect, said: “The UK science sector needs more skilled technicians. At the Royal Society of Chemistry, we are committed to helping close this skills gap, by supporting vocational routes into science, and connecting education and employers.

“The Access to Higher Education Diploma and RSciTech scheme is a great example of this. I congratulate all the students on the dedication they have shown in their industry projects, and the investment they have made in their futures through gaining RSciTech status."

Jean Scrase, of the Gatsby Foundation, which funds individuals to be assessed for RSciTech and also pays their professional body membership fees, said: “Personally, to be assessing the projects the students have carried out on behalf of local employers’ has been a great experience. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand how they have added capacity to local businesses, whilst also gaining valuable practical technical skills and knowledge.”

The 9-month Access to HE Diploma in Science programme enables students to meet the entry requirements for university. It is a popular choice with students who may not have received the required A Level results or are changing career. RSciTech, which is now incorporated into the programme, is a professional award that recognises individuals’ competency in a work-based setting.