Inspiring day to get girls thinking about their future in engineering!
The annual ‘Girls into Engineering’ Day organised at Wilberforce Sixth Form College, in partnership with UKSTEM and Withernsea High School, was even bigger and better than in previous years, with more pupils and companies in attendance than ever before. Sixty girls in years nine and ten from seven different schools including Malet Lambert, Archbishop Sentamu Academy, Bridlington Headlands School, Kelvin Hall and Withernsea High School attended this inspiring, fun and practical day on Wednesday 13th July.
Activities included ‘speed interviewing’ with 20 female engineers who passed on their invaluable knowledge and advice gained from working in companies including Croda, Siemens, Centrica and BAE Systems. An inspiring, introductory talk on her career was given by Dr Catherine Dobson of Hull University’s Engineering Department. Dr Dobson was inspired into engineering by Hull’s own female engineering role model, Amy Johnson, currently being celebrated in the city by a festival in her name. BAE Systems brought their ‘virtual cockpit demonstrator’ and the day ended with a competition to make the best ‘tomato-sorting’ machine!
Mike Cargill of UKSTEM joint organiser of the day’s activities, together with Beci Pinder Assistant Head of Withernsea High School, said: “This day is about understanding the options that are out there for the future. There is a real shortage of both female role models and females taking up STEM careers. A Royal Academy of Engineering report stated that 73% of parents said they believed that other subjects (than engineering) offer better career opportunities for girls – despite the fact that the UK needs 1 million more engineers by 2020. This isn’t about asking girls to change, it’s about showing what is available and what great opportunities there are.”
Dr Karen Ashman, Assistant Principal at Wilberforce Sixth Form College, commented that “Every year this event becomes more and more popular, with this year’s being the biggest so far in terms of attendance and support from employers. It’s great to see so many girls focused on their career goals and keen to find out more about the engineering industry. There are some fantastic opportunities becoming available locally within this sector and we are delighted to help UKSTEM & Withernsea High School promote this as a credible career option for local young women.”