Event held at University of Sheffield to inspire schoolgirls to pursue STEM careers
The University of Sheffield has welcomed hundreds of schoolgirls for an event to show them how they can transform lives with careers in science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEM).
The Exploring STEM for Girls event, which is held annually to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, saw over 500 schoolgirls from the region visit The Octagon Centre on Wednesday, March 11.
Throughout the day they took part in a range of fun and interactive experiments, including using a flight simulator and making ice-cream with liquid nitrogen, alongside workshops and talks on things like VR technology and robotics.
They were also given the opportunity to try some candy floss and discover the science behind how it is spun.
Amanda Southworth, ROSE (Recruitment, Outreach and Student Experience) Coordinator with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at The University of Sheffield, said: “Events like this are really important particularly for girls because it gives them the freedom to ask the questions they may not feel comfortable asking in from of the boys.
“Companies especially are looking for the different perspectives that having both boys and girls on the team gives and the different elements they bring.
“There are also some really strong female role models coming through in STEM and it is becoming more balanced in terms of gender in the science faculties, particularly in science and engineering.”
At the event, pupils were able to speak to current university students and staff about their studies, careers and the real-life applications of STEM subjects, and gain knowledge about further education opportunities and possible career pathways.
This includes The Discover STEM Programme, which allows pupils to find out about the options available to them at the University of Sheffield through various practical workshops, laboratory taster sessions, and sample lectures.
Amanda, whose background is in mechanical engineering and teaching, added: “The Exploring STEM event is about giving girls the options and the opportunities to look at things beyond the obvious. It is about raising awareness and sharing the idea that they can be a patent lawyer, as well as a research scientist or work on the oil rigs – it is such a varied and diverse subject.”