National Women in Engineering day

‘Girls can’t what?’ stickers were much in evidence at Wellesley House school’s celebration of National Women in Engineering Day organised by STEM coordinator Kerry Sabin-Dawson. 30 girls from Wellesley and 30 girls from local primary and secondary schools came away from the event with the thought that they too could become an engineer.


Chemical engineers Roisin Toon and Erin Meredith and civil engineer Emily Jones encouraged the girls to consider engineering as a career. The girls were then challenged in four activities devised by the school and the Hilderstone radio club. The Head of Science Eddie Collins and Head of Art Catherine Beaumont set them the challenge to build a bridge using only sticks of spaghetti in just 10 minutes with a prize for the strongest. Jamie Martin, Head of ICT, gave the girls each a BBC Micro:bit and asked them to program it to display certain images when a button was pressed. This was the first time some of the girls had even seen the BBC Micro:bit, let alone programmed one!


In the science laboratories John Hislop and Clive Widdus set the girls the challenge of lighting three LEDs, red, yellow and green, to make traffic lights using conductive dough. In the other laboratory Ian Lowe sent the girls a message in Morse code which they had to translate. The highlight of the afternoon was an amateur radio communication with Mills Spring Academy in Atlanta Georgia in the USA.


Using an FM transceiver Steve Brett encouraged the girls to take the microphone and speak to the pupils and teachers nearly 7000km away. The excitement there was just as intense as it was in Wellesley, so much so that they want to do the contact again soon. The girls found the whole event very inspiring and many of them want to find out more about amateur radio.

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Girls having fun!