Female engineers come together for outreach surgery at Curiosity Connections 2019

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Curiosity ConnectionsWomen Like Me is a Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious funded project. Curiosity Connections is a Bristol-based network for primary Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) teachers and science communicators, while Women Like Me pairs senior engineers with junior engineers for mentoring, with the junior engineers undertaking outreach activities with children and young people.

The Curiosity Connections Conference 2019 took place at UWE Bristol on 2nd February – more to follow about that! As well as the three fantastic workshop rotations on offer, we also provided an outreach surgery for our female engineers to come along, try out some outreach activities, talk through any thoughts they have about outreach and catch up with each other.

Run by Dr Laura Hobbs, research fellow in science communication at UWE Bristol and coordinator of Women Like Me, and Dr Debbie Lewis, technical team leader for molecular biology at UWE and experienced outreach leader, the session saw our engineers trying to cut A5 pieces of paper so that they could step through them (a fantastic resource provided by the Year of Engineering) and build towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows. We were also joined by our WISE Women Like Me partner Sarah Behenna, who was recently involved with the development of the new WISE resource My Skills My Life.

Credit: David Marshall (University of Bristol/Virtual Natural History Museum)

Such was the concentration and enthusiasm for the tasks – and encouraging and supportive atmosphere – that we decided to extend our scheduled 50 minute session to more than two hours, only stopping for lunch. Our endeavours with technical paper-cutting also caught the attention of exhibitors at the conference expo; the Virtual Natural History Museum stand soon became adorned with a perfectly-executed paper ring!

WISE and Women Like Me’s Sarah Behenna on the My Skills My Life launch

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WISE Associate, WISE Bristol Hub founder and Women Like Me consultant Sarah Behenna has recently been involved in the development of the new WISE digital platform My Skills My Life. Aimed at encouraging 11-19 year old girls into STEM, My Skills My Life launched yesterday. Sarah tells us more about it in this guest post.

Yesterday marked the launch of a new interactive game from WISE called My Skills My Life which helps girls to discover what they’re good at, and then match them up to rewarding careers in STEM. The launch took place at UTC Reading, where 38 girls got to be the first in the country to try the game out, and then meet people in industry who share the same skill sets as them to see how they use their skills in their careers. Afterwards, the girls got to meet WISE’s role patron HRH The Princess Royal, who asked them about what they’d like to do in the future.

Complete our quiz to discover your personality type, and see how your skills match up to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. Connect with real people in STEM careers who have the same personality as you. What do they do? What do they earn? How did they get there? It’s all about your skills, and how you can make them work for your life.  

You can access the platform at http://www.myskillsmylife.org.uk/.

For more information, please contact WISE at info@wisecampaign.org.uk