Sharon Dowey, Scottish Conservative MSP for South Scotland

It was great to visit the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre in East Ayrshire last week and attend their event with HALO’s USA Ambassador Dr Kathleen Rubins.

During the event, Dr Rubins, a NASA astronaut and the 60th woman to fly in space, gave an insightful talk about her travel in space and explained that opportunities are widening for women in areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

With a large group of school pupils from Ayrshire in the audience, I know this talk will have inspired them to consider a career in STEM.

School pupils in East Ayrshire have been through a lot during the pandemic, and I know that returning to the classroom and entering the exam hall would’ve been a huge challenge for pupils who have faced disruption over the last few years.

Cumnock Chronicle:

That’s why events like this with NASA astronauts are important – because it reminds pupils to aim high, work hard and try their best in their exams.

And that’s exactly what pupils in East Ayrshire have already been doing, with many pupils receiving their National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results earlier this month.

I want to congratulate every pupil who received their results earlier this month. Their achievements reflect their own hard work, the dedication of their parents and carers, and the great work of their teachers.

However, pupils should also know that if they didn’t get the results they were looking for, there are still plenty of opportunities to get ahead in life. There is no wrong path to success.

After high school, I went down a few different paths in the world of work and ended up at a large retailer where I worked my way up the company.

And I’ve always believed that with hard work and determination, you’ll achieve whatever you want to achieve – and I’m sure the pupils will have been inspired to aim high after hearing from Dr Rubins.