STEM Learning’s Yvonne Baker has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year 2022 Honours List for services to STEM education.
Yvonne, 56, was appointed Chief Executive of STEM Learning in October 2010.
During her time at STEM Learning, she has fulfilled a long-held ambition for many in the UK education sector by creating a true “home of all things STEM” for teachers and others who support young people.
STEM Learning’s mission is to make a world leading STEM education available to ALL young people across the UK. Yvonne has been unwavering in her drive to bring together disparate STEM organisations to make this vision a reality, believing that “great STEM education has economic, social, cultural and ethical value, with positive impacts on social mobility, diversity and inclusion.”
As Yvonne says “Even in normal times, teachers have one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world –- and that has been especially true over the last two years. The teachers we support are some of the most dedicated people in the profession.”
Over the next five years Yvonne will be focussed on supporting young people who are living in the most disadvantaged communities in the UK. She is passionate about the crucial importance of great teaching and providing meaningful, sustained support for young people. Yvonne’s driving force is a deep belief that STEM education provides young people with choice in terms of what they want to do with their lives.
Alongside her role at STEM Learning, Yvonne is Chair of Governors at Heworth Grange School, a Trustee of The 5% Club – an employer-led organisation promoting apprenticeships and other earn-and-learn routes – and a member of the Royal Society Education Committee. She was until recently co-Chair of The Institution of Engineering & Technology’s Education and Skills Panel. She is a Chartered Chemical Engineer.
Yvonne Baker said: “This award isn’t something I would ever have sought or expected – but I’m delighted to accept it on behalf of STEM Learning .”
Yvonne recognises the importance of all the people who work at STEM Learning and the long list of organisations that so generously support its mission. “I am privileged to work with people who share a genuine belief in and commitment to STEM education as something that can really change young people’s lives. I owe huge gratitude to the members of the STEM Learning and ENTHUSE Charitable Trust boards.”
As she says herself “I was lucky enough to have parents, teachers, university lecturers, friends and others who supported me throughout my early years right up to university and beyond (and continue to do so). That support has been the absolute bedrock of my life – but I realise that not every young person is so lucky. I also know that we, as a country and globally, need young people to be able and motivated to contribute to the economy and society so we can continue to function and address the opportunities as well as challenges facing us.”