BAME Girls in Engineering great success at Bristol Brunel Academy

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Dr Udonna Okeke tells us about a hugely successfull visit of his project,  BAME girls in engineering, to Bristol Brunel Academy in this guest post.

BAME Girls in engineering in partnership with UWE BoxED, had an outreach event at the Bristol Brunel Academy on Thursday 9th May and I am extremely excited to say that the feedback from the school has been very positive.

The school is happy with our outreach project and are very keen for more outreach and other engagements with the project. Based on the feedback, the students are very happy with the outreach activities that took place and would like us to make a return visit.

Below is some of the feedback from the students:

“Excellent: it was fun, exiting and very interesting. The robotics coding was very fun, especially when we were controlling the robots”

“I thought it was very good and inspiring and I liked making the turbines and playing with the robots. I want the outreach to happen again on a Thursday”

“It was nice and fun when we listened to the talk and was given the opportunity to code and control the robots”.

This feedback means a lot to me and I am looking forward to the next phase of this project.

Opportunities still available at the Great Science Share

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18th June, 10 am – 2 pm

  UWE Bristol at the ECC, Frenchay Campus

 The Great Science Share is a national event nurturing children’s natural curiosity by encouraging them to share their original science investigations with scientists. At the regional Bristol and Bath event scientists and engineers are invited to attend, to find out what local children aged 8 – 13 have come up with, and to inspire participants with their research, demos and cutting-edge technology.

If you’d like to bring an outreach activity, please email Louisa Cockbill and see theCuriosity Connections website for more information.

Leaders Award judging takes place at UWE Bristol

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Engineers from UWE Bristol took part in grading entries to the Leaders Award competition, which challenges children with the question “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”

UWE Bristol hosted the regional grading days on 1st and 2nd May with engineers judging the entries.

You can sign up to go the Leaders Award – Awards Day and private exhibition of competition designs hosted at UWE Bristol’s ECC on Friday 14th June (2-5pm). Or bring the family to check out the public open day on Saturday June 15th (10am – 3pm).

Free Public STEM Open Day at UWE Bristol

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Saturday 15th June 2019

10:00 – 15:00

UWE Bristol’s Exhibition and Conference Centre, Frenchay Campus

Come and spot which inventions you think will be the tech of the future at the Leaders Award Exhibition day on Saturday 15th June.

You’ll be amazed by the ingenious inventions of local school children who set out to answer the question – “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” Shortlisted regional designs will be on display for the public to explore, alongside science and engineering demonstrations. Stir your curiosity with Lego Mindstorm robots, try out VR goggles, build a city, and have a go with drones.

Register on Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-south-west-of-england-leaders-award-2019-public-exhibition-tickets-59517993922?fbclid=IwAR20Qik5FLDpQlGi-swYBlIde2n1bGSkFCnGA3PbOioBYpHl35kRRmaXx_s

Inspire future scientists and engineers at the Great Science Share

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The Great Science Share is a national event nurturing children’s natural curiosity by encouraging them to share their original science investigations with scientists, with the regional Bristol and Bath event taking place at UWE Bristol in June:

Tuesday 18th June 2019

10 am – 2 pm

Exhibition and Conference Centre

North Entrance, Filton Road, UWE Bristol

Scientists and engineers are invited to attend, to find out what local children aged 8 – 13 have come up with, and to inspire participants with their research, demos and cutting-edge technology.

To bring an outreach activity, please email louisa.cockbill@uwe.ac.uk. Further information about what schools will be bringing can be found on the Curiosity Connections website.

UWE Bristol is hosting the Bristol and Bath Great Science Share in association with Curiosity Connections Bristol, Bath Spa University, and the Association for Science Education West.

Please contact Louisa Cockbill for more information and feel free to pass on to anyone you think would be interested.

Thousands of children from across the South West take part in Leaders Award

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Thousands of children from across the South West have taken part in the Leaders Award competition, answering the question “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.

Our engineers from UWE Bristol and the MOD Defence Equipment and Support have been swamped with entries this year, with 4385 children entering in 2019 compared to 2712 in 2018. All the children’s designs are graded by practising engineers and given feedback for the future. The final Awards Ceremony will take place in June, with a public open day being held on Saturday June 15th at UWE Bristol (10am – 3pm).

To find out more about the event, you can register your interest here. The free event will take place in the Exhibition and Conference Centre on the Frenchay Campus, and will feature exciting science and engineering activities.

Post by Laura Fogg-Rogers.

Sarah Guppy show and women in STEM panel discussion recorded for schools

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Back in November, Show of Strength‘s production about Sarah Guppy – engineer, inventor, campaigner, designer, reformer, writer, environmentalist and business woman – opened to great reviews.

These included comments such as:

“You won’t look at Isambard Kingdom Brunel or the Clifton Suspension Bridge in quite the same way ever again after seeing this piece.”

and:

“An inspiring and witty homage to someone who deserves a far more central place in Bristol’s – and Britain’s – commercial and industrial history.”

and crucially:

“Please find a way of getting this into every school in Bristol.”

Which is what Show of Strength, in collaboration with UWE Bristol, Future Quest, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain, did yesterday.

Girls from Bristol Brunel Academy and Bristol Metropolitan Academy, coordinated by Future Quest’s Gemma Adams, attended an exclusive showing of Sarah Guppy: The Bridge, The Bed, The Truth in UWE’s filming studio at the university’s Bower Ashton campus. The performance was filmed, thanks to UWE’s Abigail Davies, and followed by a panel discussion on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which was also recorded so that both elements of yesterday’s production can be shown in schools.

The panel discussion was chaired by UWE’s Dr Madge Dresser, an expert in social and cultural British history, who recently put Sarah Guppy forward for inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. On the panel were civil engineeer Trish Johnson (the first female Bridgemaster of Clifton Suspension Bridge), mechanical engineer Nicola Grahamslaw (Conservation Engineer for the SS Great Britain), mechanical engineer Rachel Gollin (who has extensive experience of engineering various sectors across the world), Dr Laura Fogg Rogers (Senior Research Fellow at UWE; Women Like Me), Dr Laura Hobbs (Research Fellow at UWE; Women Like Me) and Miriam Cristofoletti (Robotics student at UWE’s Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

“It’s still not great for women in STEM but at least we’re allowed to be engineers and scientists now!”

Dr Laura Fogg Rogers, UWE Bristol

Discussion ranged from why girls don’t choose STEM subjects to the best thing about an engineer and back again, via conversation about what engineers can expect to earn, how to get into engineering and more.

Feedback was positive – Future Quest described hearing from a panel of women in STEM and their thoughts and advice about their careers as

“both inspiring and thought provoking”

And it is hoped that the film will inspire many more school students in future.

Header image shows left to right: Trish Johnson (Clifton Suspension Bridge), Nicola Grahamslaw (SS Great Britain), Rachel Gollin, Kim Hicks as Sarah Guppy, Dr Laura Fogg Rogers (UWE Bristol), Dr Laura Hobbs (UWE Bristol), Miriam Cristofoletti (UWE Bristol), Sheila Hannon (Producer, Show of Strength), Dr Madge Dresser (UWE Bristol) and Gemma Adams (UWE Bristol/Future Quest).

Women Like Me engineer takes part in I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here

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Our Women Like Me participant and Atkins engineer Charlene Chung took part in the I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here competition earlier this month, answering children’s questions about engineering in the ‘Milligram Zone’.

I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here is an online event where school students connect with engineers. It’s an X Factor-style competition between engineers, where the students are the judges.

Students challenge the engineers over fast-paced online live CHATs. They ASK the engineers anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite engineer to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.

The Milligram Zone was a general engineering zone, where children could meet six engineers working in different areas. In her profile, Charlene described her work as a hydraulic modeller:

“I construct and investigate hydraulic models of sewer systems. Ever thought about what happens to the dirty water flushed from toilets, down from the kitchen, bathroom and utility rooms? Well I deal with that! I use computer and mapping software to investigate flood risk and flood mechanisms, ensuring that the sewer systems are fit for purpose and suitable for future growth.”

She reached hundreds of children and answered many questions about engineering – well done Charlene!

Engine Ears viewed over 300,000 times

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Back in November, Atkins engineer and Women Like Me participant Louise Hetherington wrote a blog post for us on Engine Ears, Atkins’ first STEM video for 7-11 year olds. The video has now been viewed more than 300,000 times and won an award, as fellow Atkins and Women Like Engineer Jess Batt tells us in this guest post.

In 2018, Atkins was involved in the UK Government’s Year of Engineering initiative which focused on helping people get to know what engineering is really like. As part of this work, we created Engine Ears – an animated film aimed at the engineers and designers of tomorrow, giving them an insight into the fascinating world of engineering.

In February, Engine Ears beat some stiff competition to win a RAD award in the ‘best single use of video’ category. The annual awards showcase the very best in recruitment communications and the judges were particularly impressed with the catchy song as well as the bright, appealing graphics.

The short film crossed a new frontier; its aim was to excite and inspire primary school children about engineering. It showcased how important engineers are to our daily life by showing what the world would be like if engineers did not exist, a world with no bridges, buildings or roads but more importantly – no Xbox or Nintendo.

Ellie Harte and Katie Cockerton from Atkins Talent Attraction team drove the project from inception, working very closely with film agency, Fifty One Films. “It’s a real honour to receive this award and we also want to say a special thanks to our STEM Ambassadors Vicky Stewart, Louise Hetherington and Kirsty Greener,” reflects Katie. “They provided invaluable feedback throughout the project, as did members of the ParentNet group who volunteered to show the first film drafts and lyrics to their children so that we could get first hand feedback from our target age group.”

The film has now been viewed over 300,000 times online. Every little bit helps in the quest to show young people just how exciting a career in engineering can be.

BAME Girls in Engineering celebrates International Women’s Day with Rolls Royce

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On Friday 8th March 2019, UWE Bristol project BAME Girls in Engineering celebrated International Women’s Day with a visit to Rolls Royce.

The project team, led by Dr Udonna Okeke, took BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity) girls from City Academy Bristol to the Rolls Royce site in Filton for half a day. They received an inspirational presentation session by successful women at Rolls Royce from across the world, tours around the different facilities and a networking session with senior leadership and employees of Rolls Royce.

Udonna told us:

“The students left the event highly inspired, knowing that they can be the next generation of engineers that can impact the world.”