Toot Hill School and College in Bingham has joined forces with local employer Tarmac to highlight how engineering is a positive and rewarding career choice for girls.
A group of 27 year eight girls have taken part in practical workshops run in school by Tarmac’s Barnstone Cement Plant team, led by environmental co-ordinator Josie Morrissey.
The initiative marked International Women in Engineering Day – a global awareness campaign, co-ordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), which aims to increase the profile of women in engineering worldwide and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in engineering and related industries.
The Toot Hill students were put through their paces in two 30-minute exercises.
Using giant meccano as the main engineering tool, they had to build a wheelbarrow to transport water; and they had to construct a self-supporting swing to hold a toy.
Comments from the students included: “It was a really good experience because everyone was really nice and we got to experience engineering and the struggles you have to go through, as well as how to overcome them.”
Josie Morrissey said: “The girls were very enthusiastic and totally engaged with the workshops.
“It was a real pleasure to see them having a go at problem-solving, team working and some basic engineering.
“Across the UK Tarmac business, we offer a range of engineering roles from mechanical to electrical and we are keen to promote these, as well as the wider opportunities in such a large organisation.
“With only 12.8% of the UK’s Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) workforce being women, we are keen to do our bit to redress the balance and show girls how engineering is a great career to get in to.”
Richard Walters, lead teacher for STEM Pathways at Toot Hill, added: “This was such a valuable opportunity for these young women who knew that they wanted to be creative and have tremendous technical skill, but who before today didn’t have a clear picture of the roles an engineer takes on and the tremendous value that is placed on women in this sector.
“They weren’t sure what to expect this morning, but they left the session with their eyes open and smiles on their faces having fully engaged and performed brilliantly in the completion of the challenges.
“Many thanks go to Josie and the team at Tarmac Barnstone who are overwhelmingly supportive in our ongoing initiatives to energise students to follow STEM pathways.”