First Edition Event Engages 100 Girls to Consider STEM Careers

First reported on EDT website

On Tuesday 14th November, 100 Year 10 and 11 students from five schools took part in a First Edition taster day hosted by The Maynard School, Exeter. EDT’s First Edition days provide quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum enrichment taster experiences for young people aged 9 to 16. The challenging but exciting day offers young people a taste of how fun STEM can be, designed to widen participation by encouraging students from diverse groups to consider courses and careers in STEM. On Tuesday, First Edition hosted an all girl STEM day to inspire more girls to consider pursuing a STEM based career by engaging them in a mixture of activities, as well as having the opportunity to meet inspirational role models.

The following schools took part in the event; The Maynard School, Isca Academy, Exmouth Community College, Exeter School and Blundell’s School. The day was supported by female PhD students from University of Exeter, as well as female engineers and scientists. Guest speakers were scientist, Dr Juliette Jackson who was awarded her Doctorate after a seven year science investigation on the environmental design of coastal defences. Structural Engineer, Kate Purver was also a speaker at the event who has spent her career working on the design of a wide range of projects including buildings, footbridges and sculptures. Guest postgraduate students within the STEM field; Lauren Barr, Natalie Whitehead and Pip Halpin also attended the day to show their support and inspire the young girls.

The students took part in 3 hands-on STEM challenges all of which had a prize to be won! The activities included:

  • Eco Home Design: Students had to use their creativity and innovation to design, build and present their eco home designs.
  • Cyber Detectives: Students worked in teams to crack codes and solve the Cluedo style mystery - working to identify the hacker, and the details of their next cyber crime. This task focussed on speed and accuracy.
  • Trebuchet Tournament: In teams, students had the task of designing, building, testing and modifying a model trebuchet that could successfully launch a projectile over the wall and beyond. To win, the team had to create the most effective model – being low on cost and high on performance.

As well as the 3  hands-on STEM challenges, the girls were set an additional activity called “The big problem: Global warming” – the task was to design an engineering solution to prevent future global warming or, indeed, to reverse the effects of the last century. A prize was also up for grabs for the best solution.

Below are just some of the feedback we recieved from students and teachers who participated at the event:

“I spoke to lots of girls who were beaming and very positive about how much fun it was and how interesting they found the day.”  Miss Sarah Dunn, Headmistress at The Maynard School

“I have learnt that engineering isn’t perhaps as normal/ dull as I thought – actually it can be very interesting and far more creative than I imagined."  Student from The Maynard School

"My favourite part of the day was making the eco house, I exceeded my own expectations in the construction of it." Student from Isca Academy 

“I have learnt that there are lots of different fields of work in STEM and more than I thought.” Student from Blundell's School

First Edition can be accredited by the Industrial Cadets framework at Challenger Level. Industrial Cadets is a national standard for workplace experiences, inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales - to ensure that young people develop skills by taking part in these accredited experiences. For more information, visit the Industrial Cadets website.