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The Federation of British International Schools in Asia


Alan West MBE, MSc, BEd, MIoD
Alan was made a MBE for services to STEM Education, spanning 25 years, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2011 with an award citation “For Services to STEM Education”. Having trained originally as a chemistry teacher and rising to Head of Science in a state secondary school, he was seconded to the University of Surrey in 1985 where he was involved in designing and implementing the national CREST Awards programme becoming its National Director over a 14-year period. Realising the potential of this pedagogic approach he established Exscitec (EXcellence in SCIence and TEChnology) in 2000 in order to build STEM programmes for students and linked training for teachers. Exscitec works extensively with Higher Education and private sector partners developing STEM programmes relevant to their research and industrial application interests and which introduce relevance and clear STEM career pathways for school students.

The CREST role and subsequent work within Exscitec also involved the generation of STEM curriculum materials for national distribution within the UK. These were generated on behalf of STEM linked public bodies such as the Research Councils and also on behalf of private sector companies such as GSK with a national Schools ‘Challenge Malaria’ programme and associated materials and the BG Group Energy Islands Programme. He also acted as series editor in the production of nationally distributed materials for a UK Government initiative in support of Triple Science programmes. Exscitec also collaborated with Twig in the production of Google Expedition lesson plans based on STEM.

As a consultant to Imperial College London he designed and implemented a significant number of STEM outreach programmes that engaged Researchers with Schools and Teachers. He also developed the operational capability of the Reach Out Lab at Imperial College as its consultant Director over a 6-year period.

Alan was Head of the Science Judging Panel at the annual Northern Ireland ‘Young Innovators Science Fair’ over a 12-year period, the winners of which attend Intel ISEF or ISWEEEP in the USA as their prize. He has since consulted on this work with scientists in Indonesia.

His international work has also included leading a STEM Pilot Programme in Vietnam as a British Council High-Level STEM Consultant under the auspices of the Newton Fund and on behalf of the Ministry Of Education and Training (MOET). The year long Pilot Programme involved 14 Pilot schools preparing to introduce STEM teaching approaches within their curriculum. In partnership with Vietnamese company, Saigon Scientists, he is currently delivering a series of STEM professional development programmes with the Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City and also with the HCMC University of Education. This work is a derivative of the MOET pilot programme findings.

With the Vietnamese philanthropic organisation, Edufarm, he is developing and supporting the delivery of STEM camps for secondary school students in the Hanoi region.

In partnership with the University of Nottingham on its Malaysia Campus Exscitec prepared and delivered in July 2018 an International Summer School programme. “STEM World ASEAN” took the long established Exscitec UK based STEM World programme and operated it at UNMC for the benefit of ASEAN students and the wider international community. STEM World 2019 is now open for recruitment with a new option for schools to use the programme as a 'field trip' with accompanying teachers who also benefit from a STEM training programme.

Alan continues to work in Vietnam as a consultant on several CSR development programmes for school-based STEM initiatives within the informal curriculum of schools and is presently exploring new links with VNUK in Da Nang and other Central Region Provinces.

M: +44 (0) 1730 261 458