A FORMER Ysgol Bro Gwaun pupil, who set up a business encouraging youngsters to love STEM subjects, has been shortlisted for four national awards.

Laura Cross, nee Carr, set up Inventors & Makers in 2019 with a mission to help prepare today's children for tomorrow's world.

The company teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and design to children aged two to 11 through workshops and classes online and in schools.

It has been shortlisted in four categories of the 2021 Club Hub Awards, the biggest awards in the UK for children's activities.

Having won Start Up for the Year in 2020, Inventors & Makers has this year been shortlisted, from well over 1,000 applicants, as a finalist for Digital Business of the Year, Independent Business of the Year, Biggest Growth of the Year and a special Lockdown Achievement Award.

Laura impressed the judges with how well she had adapted the business over the last year, having only started up the company in 2019. From teaching small numbers of children in her local area, Inventors & Makers now reaches children from around the world weekly, including from Asia, America and the Middle East.

"People often think of activities for children as sports, music or dance, but the STEM opportunities for children are increasing," said Laura, who attended Holy Name School in Fishguard and then Ysgol Bro Gwaun (then Fishguard High School).

"Of the 17 other finalists in these categories, four are teaching STEM subjects of some kind. Five years ago that wouldn't have been the case."

With jobs in the STEM fields growing every year, Inventors & Makers was set up to make sure children are equipped with an enthusiasm for STEM from a young age, leading them to develop the skills they will likely need for their futures.

The Club Hub Awards are judged by a panel of expert judges and the winners will be announced later in the year.