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.

Women Like presented at Association for Science Education conference

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UWE’s Women Like Me project, run by Dr Laura Fogg Rogers and Dr Laura Hobbs, was featured in a presentation about making Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths accessible to under-represented groups at the Association for Science Education Annual Conference today.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering.  The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers. In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

ASE’s Annual Conference is Europe’s largest science education Continuing Professional Development conference. The 2019 conference is being held 9th-12th January at the University of Birmingham. This National conference brings together the best speakers and practitioners all in one place with 504 sessions, 473 speakers and 2,000 delegates.

“Women Like Me: mentoring and outreach for women and girls in engineering” was authored by Laura Hobbs and Laura Fogg Rogers and presented by Laura Hobbs, as part of the Making STEM for everyone: reaching under-served audiences session of the conference.



BAME girls in engineering launches with great success

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Following the initiation of his new project, BAME girls in engineering, Dr Udonna Okeke tells us about the success of its first school visits in this guest post.

My team and I had our first two school visits for the project at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Secondary School and City Academy, Bristol. We were involved in workshop presentations and also shared our individual experiences to motivate and inspire the students.

Indeed, we recorded a great success and some of the feedback we received includes:

“It was noticed that the first thing the girls related to you all was regarding identity. This became a platform of introduction/ an ice-breaker, where-by discussing which part of Africa you were from, in relation to their own backgrounds allowed for a rapport to have been built between your groups very quickly”

“This is fun’ ‘Are we going to get to do this again? Can we?”

“Engagement was fantastic. Groups of around 5 or 6 per facilitator made it more valuable. They were asked to think about their personal barriers to success, where they want to be in 5-10 years, how they will get there”.

“Each facilitator had a personal success story, so they were able to share that, they were calm, engaging and clearly knew how to work with this age group”.

“Lots of laughter, good contributions, no behaviour problems, the girls did CAB proud”.

In 2019, I look forward to more school visits, mentorship meetings, industry visits and the success stories that will follow.

Looking for Engineering lesson ideas?

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Now that 2018, the Year of Engineering, has come to an end, how can we keep embedding the E in STEM into teaching and learning?

The Year of Engineering website has a dedicated Lesson Ideas page, which brings together a large collection of resources which can be filtered by age range, format, curriculum link and length. Ideas range from lessons on combustion to game design to sports safety to space exploration and much more…

You can also access general resources, such as the What is Engineering? video below, the Marvel More Heroes Needed aptitude test and an engineering activities map.

Women Like Me featured in Science in Public conference presentation

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UWE’s Women Like Me project, run by Dr Laura Fogg Rogers and Dr Laura Hobbs, was featured in a presentation about increasing visibility of minority groups at STEM events at the Science in Public conference today.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering.  The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers. In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

Science in Public 2018 was a conference “centred on the multiple ways that scholars have sought to intervene in, understand, talk about, and co-produce with, the natural sciences – whether from the perspective of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, Medical Sociology, the History of Science, Social and Cultural Theory, Science Journalism or some other intellectual inheritance”. It took place at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

“MI STEM – Improving the visibility of Minorities in STEM at science events” was authored by Laura Fogg Rogers and Laura Hobbs and presented by Laura Fogg Rogers, as part of the Communication, Education and Engagement strand of the conference.

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.

Promoting electronics careers: #TurnOnToElectronics

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A new national campaign has been launched by the UK Electronic Skills Foundation, to promote electronics careers to young people.

Turn On To Electronics aims to shine a spotlight on the UK electronics sector, which has a long history of world-changing technology such as developments in radar and programming.

In the South West, www.littelfuse.com have sponsored Hardenhuish School in Chippenham to receive UKESF ‘music maker’ kits for A Level Physics students and ‘logic and arithmetic’ kits for A Level Computer Science students, to enhance the electronics parts of the curriculum.

Follow the campaign on Twitter for updates.

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.