City of Norwich School

Sixth Form student Maud inspires female empowerment

Year 13 student Maud Webster has had an amazing few months, from being one of five finalists in the “Champions of Science – Superstars of STEM” essay writing contest at the 2018 Global STEM Alliance Summit at the New York Academy of Sciences, to being selected as one of 21 girls and women to be part of Disney’s “Dream Big Princess” initiative which resulted in her being on Good Morning America! 

Maud, who is currently studying A-Level Maths, Physics and English Literature here at CNS Sixth Form, is enthusiastic about STEMM and journalism, is an aspiring architectural engineer and has a passion for creating opportunities which empower girls and young women.  She is a founding member of Girl Up Norwich and recently spoke at the first United Nations Foundation Girl Up Leadership Summit in the UK.

The Champions of Science competition, which was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, asked entrants to focus on telling stories of inspirational modern day female superstars in STEMM, whose work has helped change the trajectory of health for humanity.  Maud wrote about Fiona Stanley, the renowned Australian epidemiologist and statistician, and her momentous work in public health.

As a result, she was invited to the 2018 Global STEM Alliance Summit which was held at the New York Academy of Sciences in August as one of five finalists. 

Maud (fourth from left) at the 2018 GSA Summit in New York

In a separate project for Girl Up, Maud produced a half-minute stop-motion video on British-born American astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. This small project saw her being selected as one of 21 girls and women from 13 different countries to work with Disney’s “Dream Big Princess” initiative.  This initiative aims to inspire and support female filmmakers by providing a platform for them to showcase their work, with Disney donating through the initiative to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up which supports women’s equality globally through training and education.  

The 21 girls and women were given the task of each developing a short film about women who inspire them, with help from the production company Summerjax.  For her film, Maud got to interview Kathleeen Kennedy, American film producer and President of Lucasfilm, at Pinewood Studios in London. 

Following on from this she was invited, along with her fellow filmmakers, to appear on Good Morning America to promote the initiative which resulted in her second visit to New York in as many months!


Maud interviewing Kathleen Kennedy                             Maud on Good Morning America

Maud said “This has been such an amazing project to be involved in and I feel really proud that I got to make a film that lots of young women will watch.  Interviewing Kathleen Kennedy was a surreal experience.  She is so confident and is such an impressive woman”.

Maud is now focusing on finishing her A-Levels, with hopes of becoming an Architectural Engineer. Whatever path she ends up following, we are sure she will do well and we wish her every success for the future.