A DEDICATED promoter of getting youngsters involved with science has been shortlisted for two awards - and has no intention of relaxing anytime soon.

Chartered chemist Rebecca Ballantyne was nominated for national awards Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM, and Young Woman of the Future for her impressive work with children and young adults, encouraging girls in particular to pursue a career in science.

And the 35-year-old couldn’t be more pleased to be acknowledged for her hard work.

“I was incredibly proud to have been nominated for two awards, but to be shortlisted for both is just fantastic,” Rebecca said.

“I feel so proud to be acknowledged as a young woman of the future, and also very humbled to have been shortlisted for the award. – I`ll be standing alongside some incredibly inspiring women on the evening, so I`m thrilled to be included and associated with the Women of the Future Programme.”

Alongside her work as a senior technologist at Sellafield, Rebecca also lectures at the University of Cumbria and provides support sessions for pupils who need help with STEM subjects.

“I enjoy seeing the group develop and confidence grow as I’m teaching a session,” the mum-of-one said.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the impact your lesson has had on a group, and when the inquisitive questioning starts you know that you’ve been able to demonstrate the relevance science has to the subject.”

And there’s no slowing down for the Carlisle woman, as Rebecca is now a member of Women in Nuclear succession board where she holds the position of STEM co-ordinator for north Cumbria.

Rebecca has plenty of plans for the upcoming year that she can’t wait to get moving, including interactive storytelling with children aged three to 11, as well as further STEM sessions in schools.

Before powering on with work, Rebecca is spending the week in London ready for today and Thursday’s ceremonies.

Commenting on her busy week, she said: “I was in total shock after being nominated for both awards, even more so when I found out the awards ceremonies were only two days a part!”

She added that she’s really looking forward to them, and said: , and being given the opportunity to discuss the great work we’re doing in Cumbria to promote equality and diversity in the Nuclear Industry and further afield. I’m really proud to be representing Cumbria, Sellafield Ltd and WIN Cumbria at the awards ceremonies. I’d like to encourage others working in any STEM industry to consider taking some time out from the day job to go into a school and inspire the next generation with their story – you could inspire a child to pursue a career that will really make a difference.”