Thirty female pupils from Oakbank School and Reading Girls’ School visited Reading College, part of Activate Learning, last week to hear about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) from tech employers and academics including CISCO and Imperial College.
Dr Jess Wade from Imperial College London and Dr Claire Murray from the Diamond Institute inspired the girls about the wonderful world of physics in their talk Making Physics Fun.
BW Workplace Experts set the pupils a construction design challenge, while tech giants Cisco shared their insights on The Internet of Everything, how far we have come and what does the future hold?
The pupils also learnt about the exciting and varied careers available in the engineering industry, such as chemical, structural, medical, aerospace and software engineers. The pupils got to see everything from the development of prosthetic limbs to how bridges and offices are built.
Dr Jess Wade from Imperial College said:
I am in awe of the amount of effort that the team at Reading College put in to creating a wonderful Step into STEM day. The girls started hearing from me and my colleague Dr. Claire Murray about atoms and molecules and ended designing and building a real-life working toilet. I have every intention of coming back to check out (and test!) what they have created!
Alex Warner, director of the technology faculty at Activate Learning said:
UK engineering is facing a shortage of engineers, with a need for an extra 640,000 engineer by 2020. The sector also needs more diversity – only 9% of the UK engineering workforce is female – the lowest in Europe.
Activate Learning is committed to providing talent for business and transforming lives so it was great to host the next generation of creative thinkers and explorers in action. I am confident that within the group are the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.