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Karen Giles Wins Third Place in STOTY Competition
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Karen Giles Wins Third Place in STOTY Competition

Karen Giles is a long-standing member of the Church in Aylesbury Ward, Watford Stake. She teaches at the local grammar school and was delighted to be placed third in Gratnells’ Science Technician of the Year (STOTY) competition. (Gratnells is a British company specialising in the production of trolleys and trays for use in hospitals and schools.)

Now in its twelfth year, the competition is open to science technicians working in education worldwide. The judging panel, consisting of industry professionals, look for evidence of individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ in their daily work. They seek science technicians who embrace their work, enjoy the challenges, and who offer continuous improvement in the services they deliver.

The third-place winner for 2020 was Karen Giles working at Aylesbury Grammar School in Buckinghamshire. She has spent 16 years as a science technician. She enjoys trying, testing, and developing new things. Her commitment to her role and confidence in her work stood out to the judges.

Dr Katherine Forsey, chartered science teacher, of Gratnells, said, “It was a privilege to be part of the judging panel for the 2020 Science Technician of the Year Awards. I had the honour of interviewing each of the short-listed applicants during the judging process. I was blown away by the passion, commitment and high level of technical expertise exemplified by each candidate.

“Science technicians are the bedrock of every successful science department. They play a critical role in every student’s science education by leading or enabling high-quality, practical science experiences, supporting pupils, and improving their results. All the technicians I spoke to go above and beyond in their role, providing practical and technical expertise and contributing more widely to the student experience.

“Science technicians run extracurricular clubs, take teams of pupils to national competitions, and work with other departments to support learning across the entire school. Technicians regularly work beyond their own schools, leading professional networks in their own regions, sharing their knowledge and expertise through CPD (Continuing Professional Development) provision at both a local and national level.

“The STOTY awards seek to capture and celebrate the contribution made by science technicians. We certainly have a lot to celebrate this year with an outstanding field that made our job as judges very difficult. Congratulations to every single short-listed applicant and especially this year’s winners.”

Karen received a great chocolate haul and a framed certificate, during COVID-19 restrictions, so she wore her mask for the local press photo. Karen was also lauded at an online event for The Association for Science Education, showcasing all the great entries from the year’s STOTY competition.