The 2023 David Clark Prizes have been awarded to Jenn McEwan and Isabel Culmer, two teachers who have
gone above and beyond the curriculum to inspire students and showcase real-world engineering in the classroom.
The ERA foundation, a long-term supporter of Made Here
Now, announced that this year’s Primary School David Clark Prize will go to Jenn McEwan from Doonfoot Primary School
and the Secondary School Prize will go to Isabel Culmer from Barton Peveril Sixth Form College.
The prize recognises teachers who have gone beyond the teaching syllabus and demonstrated a strong track record of
showcasing real-world engineering to students while inspiring them to consider engineering as a career. The awarding team agreed that Jenn and Isabel had both shown a vision for engineering and a high level of
creativity in their work with young people.
Professor Sir Chris Snowden, chairman, ERA Foundation, said: “The ERA Foundation are delighted to recognise and
support such hard working, inspirational and dedicated teachers through the David Clark Prize. The teachers
receiving these awards have demonstrated that they have gone over and above what’s expected of them to promote
engineering and encourage young people to consider the discipline as a career path,” said Professor Snowden.
Jenn McEwan, the Lead Science Teacher at Doonfoot Primary School, has actively engaging them with engineering for the last 12 years. Also, her development role as local authority STEM Lead covering forty one primary schools, their
associated Early Years Centres, eight secondary schools, and two Additional Support Needs Schools in South Ayrshire,
Jenn has extended her influence, providing opportunities and engagement for young people of all ages with
Jenn’s dedication to promoting engineering is evident in her involvement with the Primary Engineer’s
Leaders Award. For a decade, Doonfoot Primary School has engaged its pupils with the yearly competition, celebrating
In addition to fostering engagement with the competition, she promotes interaction with engineering repeatedly and in
multiple ways throughout the school and South Ayrshire. She has organised and delivered numerous engineering-focused
initiatives, including collaborations with the University of Strathclyde to deliver a summer programme of engaging
STEM activities for secondary-aged pupils with significant additional needs.
Jenn McEwan said: “I am incredibly grateful to the ERA Foundation for recognising my work this way. To be selected by
such an esteemed organisation for this prize is simply a dream come true! It has been an absolute joy and privilege
to have had the opportunity to support so many learners over the years on their STEM journey while working in a
learning community which has nurtured my passion for STEM."
A Computer Science teacher at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, Isabel Culmer has worked to engage and develop students’
aspirations and access to high-quality STEM experiences, going beyond the core curriculum.
Isabel’s dedication to her students is evident in her commitment to running three weekly enrichment sessions, where
students learn more practical engineering skills and prepare for competitions. Due to demand and Isabel’s
reputation, this provision has grown from one class to three over the last five years.
Over the last eighteen years, Isabel has helped prepare multiple teams each year for the Engineering Education
Scheme. She also organises the entry of at least one team into the Student Robotics competition held by Southampton
Isabel Culmer commented: “I was greatly surprised and humbled to receive this prize. I am grateful for the
opportunity to inspire and mentor the next generation of engineers. With this prize I hope to further help students
to develop a passion for engineering and give them the skills they need to to make a positive difference in the
"The prize will enable us to offer our current engineering enrichment to many more students and allow them to
experience a wider variety of engineering with more equipment and trips to industry.”
Caroline Maston, a science teacher at Lighthouse School, and Hamada Mahdi, lead computer science teacher at London
Academy of Excellence Tottenham, were recognised for their exceptional contributions to engineering education.
Caroline has made it her mission to support and inspire her
students, bringing subjects to life in her classroom in a way that is both engaging and accessible. Caroline uses
various tools and resources to deliver her lessons, including 3D printers and everyday objects. She also covers
various topics, ensuring her teaching is comprehensive and well-rounded.
Hamada Mahdi has created an environment that fosters innovation and technical excellence
among his students. He understands the importance of practical, hands-on learning experiences in sparking interest
in engineering among young minds. To this end, Hamada has run several software development projects, allowing
his students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world context.
The awards were presented at the ERA Foundation Annual Dinner and Lecture on 13th June 2023.