Women Like Me engineer Rachel Kirkwood engages 1778 children for Leaders Awards

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Rachel Kirkwood, graduate engineer at Peter Brett, reached 1778 primary school pupils today in her online presentation for the Leaders Award. The children from 14 schools across England and Scotland.

The Leaders Award is supported by UWE Bristol and asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews.

Rachel, who is taking part in UWE’s Women Like Me project to support women and girls in engineering, spoke about civil engineering and transport planning. After the presentation, she said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was a great opportunity to give an insight into the varied world of civil engineering and transport planning. The pupils asked very interesting and sometimes challenging questions. They all seemed to enjoy the session and learn a lot.”

We’re sure Rachel inspired many children today, and are looking forward to more Leaders Award presentations.

Engineers who would like to support Primary Engineer / The Leaders Award can find out more here. Schools which would like to participate in Meet an Engineer interviews can find more information here.

Engineers from UWE’s Women in Science and Engineering Society excited to be building Leaders Award winning design

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A team of UWE Bristol engineering students:

have now picked one of the winning designs from this year’s Leaders Award to turn into reality. The team are part of UWE’s Women in Science and Engineering student society and Katy is also a participant in our Women Like Me mentoring and outreach project supporting women and girls in engineering.

The team picked the design of Philippa Griffiths, a Year 7 student at Hugh Sexey CE Middle School in Somerset. Philippa designed the RLBS (Red Line Braking System) to display red lights to alert other drivers of the severity of the braking and levels of attention needed, with the aim of reducing fatalities on our roads. The team will be visiting Philippa’s school in February to discuss the design with her and deliver engineering outreach for her class.
Georgina and Olesya tell us how they’re looking forward to getting started, in this video made by Miriam:

Miriam Cristofoletti reaches 1600 pupils in Leaders Award presentation

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Miriam Cristofoletti from the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol took up the challenge of presenting to over 1000 school pupils for the Leaders Award this week.

“It’s OK not to have things working right the first time”

Miriam, a student engineer in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, took part “mainly to inspire them, tell them never give up and that it’s OK not to have things working right the first time”.

 

 

“It was inspiring and thought-provoking”

Feedback from schools was outstanding, with schools reporting that Miriam’s presentation had particularly positive impacts for students from minority ethnic backgrounds, girls who struggle to engage with stereotypically ‘masculine’ topics and low attaining pupils now expressing that they would like be robotics engineers in the future.

Professor Paul Olomolaiye, Pro Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Technology, was delighted to celebrate Miriam’s achievement, saying that “she has made us all so proud”.

Miriam is also part of a team of UWE Bristol students who are building a prototype of one of last year’s winning designs.

The Leaders Award is supported by UWE Bristol and asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews. If you’d like to take part in the Leaders Award as an engineer or school, please get in touch with the team.

UWE Bristol team to build winning Leaders Award design

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In 2018, Year of Engineering, UWE Bristol was a partner organisation of the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards in the South West of England, along with DE&S  (the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support organisation).

As part of the competition, school pupils met and learnt from engineering students and professionals, before answering the question:

by identifying a problem in society that engineering could solve and devising a solution.

Shortlisted and winning entries were displayed at an exhibition at UWE Bristol in June. A team of UWE Bristol engineering students:

have now picked one of the winning designs to turn into reality. The team are part of UWE’s Women in Science and Engineering student society and Katy is also a participant in our Women Like Me mentoring and outreach project supporting women and girls in engineering.

The team picked the design of Philippa Griffiths, a Year 7 student at Hugh Sexey CE Middle School in Somerset. Philippa designed the RLBS (Red Line Braking System) to display red lights to alert other drivers of the severity of the braking and levels of attention needed, with the aim of reducing fatalities on our roads.
Olesya explained why they chose Philippa’s design to make:

“We all agreed as a team on the design choice, because its practicality and feasibility suit our view and needs in the project. It will provide a great marketing look as well as provoking interest for children, as we are planning for them to physically test the final prototype! It’s a fantastic opportunity for us and we are all looking forward to see this project coming true!”

Mechanical engineer Brad Squires (President of Engineers Without Borders at UWE) will support and advise the project team as they begin to build Philippa’s design. They are hoping to visit Philippa and her classmates at their school as the project progresses. Watch this space!

“Engineering is a hugely diverse profession open to all”

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Our Women Like Me engineer Eleanor Davies, structural engineer at BuroHappold, gave a very successful Leaders AwardMeet an Engineer‘ interview for the Leaders Award on 21st November. Eleanor told us more about her experience of giving the presentation in her guest post below. 

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to talk to over 1300 children at primary school about what engineering is and what I do. Primary Engineer Leaders Award uses video calls to allow engineers to explain what they do to children and answer their questions in real time. This is a great way to engage many more children than simply going into one classroom, and to give them an understanding of what engineers actually look like and do. This is especially powerful at a young age when children are still curious about the world around them and stereotypes have not been formed.

 

In particular, I really enjoyed answering the many insightful questions asked. It definitely brought back good memories of damming streams on the beach in Wales, watching Megastructures on TV and gave me a chance to reflect on my career so far. Hopefully, it also showed that engineering is a hugely diverse profession open to all. It offers amazing opportunities to apply maths and science to solve real world problems and to come up with tangible solutions that you can be proud of.

Engineers who would like to support Primary Engineer / The Leaders Award can find out more here. Schools which would like to participate in Meet an Engineer interviews can find more information here.

Women Like Me engineer Eleanor Davies presents to 1334 children for Leaders Awards

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UWE Bristol is delighted to be supporting the Primary Engineer and Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards again this year, and even more pleased that some of our Women Like Me engineers are taking part in online ‘Meet an Engineer‘ interviews with school students around the UK as part of this.

Eleanor Davies, a structural engineer at BuroHappold, is one of those engineers and is currently presenting online to 1334 children. So successfully, that the Leaders Awards would like her to come back!

 

 

You can find out more about the Leaders Awards in the video below, or by visiting their website.

UWE engineers to take part in Leaders Award online interviews

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Engineers from UWE Bristol’s Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics have been invited to take part in ‘Meet an Engineer‘ online interviews as part of Primary & Secondary Engineer Leaders Award, and Miriam Cristofoletti from the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol is taking up the challenge on 7th December.

The Leaders Award asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews.

Miriam, a student engineer in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, is looking forward to her interview and will be discussing, alongside her work, what it’s like being a student engineer. She says she’s taking part “mainly to inspire them, tell them never give up and that it’s OK not to have things working right the first time“.

Miriam has promised to update us on how it goes! Our Women Like Me engineers have also been keen to take part, and will report back too – watch this space!

If you’d like to take part in the Leaders Award as an engineer or school, please get in touch with the team.

Women Like Me and Leaders Award represented at First Friday Club

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On Friday 5th October 2018, UWE Bristol project Women Like Me and the Leaders Award supported by UWE Bristol were presented to leading media editors at the First Friday Club meeting in London.

Presenting to the editors’ briefing, Chris Rochester, UK Director, Primary Engineer said: “In 2017/18 academic year we continued to develop our programmes across the UK which included working with 988 schools, 3,833 teachers and 1,325 engineers. Each one getting involved and helping nearly 57,000 children to understand that engineering is a broad profession with myriad opportunities. It emphasises engineering is a diverse sector which thrives on ingenuity and creativity of the professionals working within it”.

In the South West, the Leaders Award is supported by Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S), the MOD’s procurement organisation, along with UWE Bristol.

Air Marshal Julian Young, Chief of Materiel Air, and who is the Ministry of Defence’s Engineering Champion and lead Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador for DE&S, said: “I am delighted that the Defence Sector is rising to the challenge of increasing its diversity in our Engineering profession, whether that is cultural, gender or nationality, and we are working closely with a range of STEM-related organizations, including Primary Engineer, to help to encourage young women and girls to not only express an interest in Engineering, but to follow that through into a career and a successful one at that!”

Two female engineers from Defence, Equipment and Support also gave accounts of their personal journeys into engineering. May Holmes started her career as a primary teacher – unaware there was more than one kind of engineering aside from civil engineering – before joining DE&S as a mechanical engineer.  She said: “Not all young people are lucky enough to be introduced to and experience STEM, which can be to the detriment of younger generations reaching their full potential as well as to STEM professions – particularly with current and predicted future skills shortages in STEM roles. 

“Through programmes such as Primary Engineer, I enjoy challenging young people’s perception of what Engineering is, who an Engineer is, and encouraging all young people that it can, in fact, be for everyone.”   

UWE Bristol are supporting the South West Leaders Awards and hosting the winners’ Awards Ceremony. A team of female student engineers from the UWE Women in Science and Engineering Society will build the winning design from 2018. Alongside this, UWE Bristol is galvanising support from local industries through their Women Like Me mentoring programme, where local female engineers will work with schools over the coming year.

Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers, who is the project lead and a science communication researcher at UWE Bristol, said: “Engineers are highly creative people who can help to solve many of society’s problems. It’s a really collaborative profession, where you have to work together in teams to see your visions and designs come to fruition. The range of roles and careers is really diverse, and that’s what we’d like to emphasise to all young people, particularly girls. You can make your own mark in engineering!”

Edited from a press release by Neil Fullbrook, Cadence neil@thecadenceteam.com

NASA astronaut Suni Williams talks to thousands of children as Leaders Awards launch

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UWE Bristol is once again supporting the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards in the South West of England.

On 20th September the Leaders Awards launched, with NASA astronaut Suni L Williams giving an online presentation for the 2018/19 competition. Primary Engineer Events Manager Jo Norwood told us: “The interview went really well. Thousands of children from across the UK watched Suni from their classrooms while she spoke about her career. Pupils were given the opportunity to ask Suni questions and here are some of the ones they asked:

What happens to water in space?

How do you go to the toilet?

If you had enough water could you make a swimming pool in space?

Does it take a lot of time to get used to being back on earth?

Has anything ever gone wrong in space?

Have you ever seen anything strange?

What happens when something breaks?

Have you ever broken anything in space?”

One Year 6 girl at Bothal Primary School asked Suni for any tips for girls who want a career in the STEM sector. Suni advised girls to take inspiration wherever they find it and to believe that they can achieve their goals – a strong message for the next generation.

Did you miss out on Suni’s interview? Primary Engineer are holding more live-streamed interviews with engineers! If your school wants to be involved in any of these interviews please register your interest via email to info@leadersaward.com and they will  keep you posted on their schedule.

Schools can also register for the Leaders Awards now.

Leaders Awards launch with online interview with NASA astronaut Suni Williams

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UWE Bristol is pleased to be supporting the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards in the South West of England.

The awards, also supported by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), invite pupils from Primary and Secondary schools in the South West of England to be inspired by an engineer from a local industry. They can then apply an engineer’s eye to the world and identify problems in need of solving. When they have settled on their idea, they draw and annotate it, making clear what the problem is and their unique solution to it.

Leaders Awards ask pupils aged 3-19 the question “If you were an engineer what would you do?”. The free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews.

Online presentation – Sunita L. Williams – NASA astronaut 20th September 2.30pm

Primary Engineer are delighted to announce that their live-streamed interviews with engineers are back! Schools can register for the Leaders Awards now and take part on  20th September at 2.30 pm with Astronaut Suni Williams. More about Sunita can be found on their website.

If your school wants to be involved in any of these interviews please register your interest via email to info@leadersaward.com and they will  keep you posted on their schedule.