Welcoming pupils and teachers onto campus for Dragonfly day

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:25:00 GMT

On Wednesday 13 February, the Student Recruitment and Widening Participation team welcomed 44 Year 8 and 9 female pupils and four teachers onto campus for our annual Dragonfly day, which aims to inspire young females to consider careers and pathways in STEM subjects.

The day began with short introductory sessions led by Widening Participation Fellows and PhD students, Negin Kamyar and Rebecca Lewis. Biomaterials researcher, Negin introduced the huge variety of pathways within STEM and discussed the benefits of working in this industry, from travel and networking to professional development opportunities. Rebecca, a graduate from the Royal Veterinary College who is now studying for a PhD at The University of Manchester, introduced the audience to her research. She explained that her PhD is centred on birdsong and the impact it can have on conservation efforts.

The girls were invited to participate in two interactive workshops, ‘Building the Body’ with Zara Smith, and ‘Mary Anning: Dinosaur Hunter’ with Elspeth Wallace, both Widening Participation Fellows and PhD students at The University of Manchester. Zara’s workshop enabled the pupils to explore materials used to help the human body repair itself or substitute parts of the body that cannot be regrown. With Elspeth, the girls learned about the life and work of Mary Anning, one of the most important fossil hunters in the world, and arguably the foremost female palaeontologist ever.

The event concluded with a speed networking opportunity, when the girls had the chance to meet more female PhD students, researchers and academics working within STEM across the University and ask them anything!

Following the event, 100% of pupils said that they enjoyed the visit, and 90% of attendees said that the event inspired them to go to university.