Women Like Me engineer Eleanor Davies reaches another 1000 pupils for the Leaders Award

Posted on

Back in November, our Women Like Me participant Eleanor Davies presented to over 1300 children in on online ‘Meet an Engineer‘ session for the Leaders Award.

Her talk was so successful and engaging that she was invited back, and presented again on 31st January. This time Eleanor reached 1042 children in six primary and one secondary school, across the UK. Eleanor is a Chartered Structural Engineer at BuroHappold Engineering; you out more about her and her career in engineering so far here.

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 student engineers promote Leaders Award at Curiosity Connections 2019

Posted on

Our Curiosity Connections Conference, bringing together teachers and science communicators to discuss and progress the future of primary STEM, took place today and the packed expo featured two of the student engineers building a prototype of one of the winning designs from last year’s Leaders Award competition.

UWE Bristol student engineers Miriam Cristofoletti (Bristol Robotics Laboratory) and Georgina Packham (Mechanical Engineering) attended the conference to report on the work they are doing for the Leaders Award, and raise awareness of the competition with more than 50 conference attendees.

Along with Olesya Klyuchenkova and our Women Like Me engineer
Katy O’Hara Nash, Miriam and Georgina are building a prototype of a graded braking light designed by 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 later this month.

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.

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

Posted on

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.

UWE Bristol team to build winning Leaders Award design

Posted on

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”

Posted on

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 and Leaders Award represented at First Friday Club

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

“If you were an engineer, what would you do?”

Posted on

2712 children from across the South West answered this question with their designs to solve real-world problems.

The Leaders Awards is organised by Primary Engineer, helping children to meet real-life engineers. Led by Laura Fogg Rogers, UWE Bristol is an official sponsor, in partnership with Defence Equipment and Support (the procurement arm of the Ministry of Defence).

The shortlisted entries were showcased at a public exhibition in June 2018, bringing together 19 winners and their parents in a celebration with engineers from across the South West.

Children from Reception through to Year 10 were recognised for their efforts. Designs ranged from rotating bunk beds to bird-identifier binoculars. Students from UWE Bristol’s EngWest Studio will make one of the winning entries as part of their studies.

The future of engineering is here!

UWE Bristol supports Engineer Leaders Award for South West England

Posted on

2018 is the Year of Engineering, a Government-led national campaign to increase awareness among young people, their parents and their teachers of what engineers do. This year, UWE Bristol and DE&S  (the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support organisation) are the partner organisations of the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Awards in the South West of England.

School pupils have met and learnt from engineering students and professionals, before answering the question “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” by identifying a problem in society that engineering could solve and devising a solution.

To launch the competition, back in January DE&S invited school children from the Bristol area to visit their Abbey Wood site and discover some of the kit worked on by its engineers.

Engineering Leaders Award

We welcomed 380 school children on campus this week to find out why engineering is fun and to showcase their own designs for future production as part of the Engineering Leaders Award #ThisisEngineeringMore: http://ow.ly/kxxV30iR24L

Posted by UWE Bristol on Friday, 9 March 2018

 

Primary school children from Years 4-6 also attended the ‘Children as Engineers’ conference at UWE on 7th March, giving them the opportunity to visit the University’s facilities and take part in science activities. Children had the opportunity to pitch their design ideas to engineering students and receive feedback.

Shortlisted and winning entries from the Primary Engineer & Secondary Engineer Leaders Award submitted by primary and secondary school children were then displayed at an exhibition at the University on 30th June.

Winning designs will now be built by UWE Bristol engineering students from September 2018. They take the concept, develop the design and build it into a full-scale functioning prototype, giving the school children who entered the competition an insight into the process behind designing and manufacturing a product.

As part of its commitment to encouraging school children to think about future attendance at a university as well as raising awareness about science and engineering career paths, UWE Bristol is actively involved with schools in the local area.

Last September it set up a module on its undergraduate and postgraduate Engineering degrees to teach students about public engagement with engineering, and the need to widen the appeal of the profession to girls and boys.

As part of the module, 45 of the University’s engineering undergraduates joined forces with 35 UWE Bristol education students to take engineering challenges into 30 primary school classrooms for a day. The event involved over 900 local primary school children, enabling students and children to work together to challenge children’s preconceptions about engineers and the role they play. It also helped support engineering students in their public engagement skills and enabled trainee teachers to develop their knowledge of science teaching.

Laura Fogg-Rogers, who coordinated the event and is Senior Research Fellow in UWE Bristol’s Science Communication Unit 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!”

UWE Bristol has also recently launched Women Like Me, a project which will see senior women engineers mentor junior women engineers, who will in turn undertake engineering outreach in schools. For more information about the project and UWE’s engineering outreach work, please email engineeringourfuture@uwe.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter.