Empowering Tomorrow’s Innovators: Local schoolgirls take part in an exciting STEM event with industry leaders at Guildford College

Over 100 young girls from local secondary schools attended a Girls in STEM event at Guildford College on Thursday 21 March.

Groups of year 7-9 pupils from Christ’s College, George Abbot, Howard of Effingham and King’s College  attended the one-day event at the college campus in Stoke Road.

Representatives from Berkeley Homes, ACM, Lexus Guildford, Institute of Civil Engineers and SATRO attended the event, presenting inspirational talks, running engaging stands and delivering fun workshops to give the pupils a glimpse of the opportunities open to them if they choose to pursue a career in STEM.

MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson, a long-time supporter of encouraging young girls to consider training for careers in STEM, was also in attendance and said: “There is huge value in having young women of Guildford come to college today to experience STEM subjects in ways they may not have imagined.

“Today is about showing the future female workforce that STEM melds well with creative subjects and that they may already use STEM in things they enjoy, such as music and gaming.

“Careers in STEM sectors provide a lifelong opportunity for girls of today and I was very happy to be here showing my support in a subject that I have long been an advocate for.

“Thank you to everyone for organising a fantastic event today.”

The event opened with a fantastic live musical performance by talented ACM student, Amber Saqladi, who performed one of her own original songs.

This was followed by an inspirational talk by Dr Rebecca Bowden, CEO of Community Foundation for Surrey and someone who is a good example of women achieving great things in STEM, as she has, herself, enjoyed a successful career in the field of science and technology.

Rebecca said: “I am delighted to be here today to speak to this group of young women about their future and how it is so important for them to understand that girls can do it all!

“As a young girl, I was told that I couldn’t achieve in any STEM job because I was supposed to just go and have babies. Thankfully, attitudes have changed and we are now championing the female workforce of the future to embrace and flourish in great STEM careers.

“Careers in STEM sectors for women today is vital for the success of the country. Science is the UK’s superpower and I was privileged to be able to convey this message to all the attendees of this fantastic event.”

The event was also lucky to be supported by two female Engineering undergraduates from University of Surrey. Second year student, Caitlin and fourth year student Rachael were on hand to talk to any of the guests about their course and career ambitions.

During the ACM workshop, pupils were split into groups and were able to play with all kinds of sound equipment and online gaming functionality including fun VR experiences.

ACM’s Industry Link Coordinator, Ollie Batchelor, was overseeing their engaging activities during the event and said: “We are thrilled to be a part of this great event today and proud to bring STEM subjects to life through our music technology experiences, which all the attendees found fun and engaging – whether it was by using our VR functionality or playing with sound technology.

“I think we really opened some eyes to the possibility of some really exciting career opportunities within the music industry today! Technology is a huge part of this sector, and we are delighted to support this ‘Girls in STEM’ event!”


In the Lexus workshop, after a short video and presentation about the company and the future of automotive, pupils were able to test the pressure of a tyre and were split into teams to solve a puzzle challenge.

While in the Insititute of Civil Engineers (ICE) workshop, after an introduction on ‘Civil Engineers – Shaping the World’ and a short presentation from some female civil engineers about their careers in the industry, the groups were split into teams and undertook a fun pollution control challenge, where they had to assign each other roles and work as a team to solve the problem using the company’s own CityZen interactive software.

Meanwhile in the SATRO workshop, pupils were again split into teams and were given the mission of building a wind turbine from a list of instructions which was then tested for its durability by use of a fan.

Stuart Kennedy, Assistant Principal for Personal Development, Christ’s College, Guildford said of the event: “What an amazing day, with such a diverse range of STEM exhibitors. For our girls it was inspirational, interesting and in many ways, eye opening.

“Thanks so much to Activate Learning. If you want a day that will shape the futures of young women, this would be it.”

Find out more about courses available at Guildford College here or contact Activate Learning on 0800 612 6008.