Girls into STEM

On 25 April, the Faculty of Science and Engineering hosted its first Faculty-wide Girls into STEM event. The event was called ‘Who Could you BEE’, making reference to the symbol of Manchester, and saw 140 girls in Y5 and Y6 come to the historic Sackville Street Building for a fun-filled day of activities.

Most of the girls came as part of a group from local primary schools, most of which are in less advantaged areas. There was also a smaller group of daughters or nieces of University staff who were invited to mark Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.

The event aimed to excite the girls about science and engineering and encourage them to consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) courses or careers in the future, as it has been identified that age 9-11 is the point where girls’ engagement with science and engineering declines sharply.

The day started with an inspiring talk from lecturer in functional materials and devices Dr Jessica Boland: “At this age you don’t have to know what you want to do when you grow up, but don’t rule out science and engineering,” said Jess to the group, before teaching them some scientific sign language.

The interactive workshops which followed allowed the girls to get hands-on and explore new areas of science.

The girls then took part in a speed networking session, which gave them the chance to ask female scientists and engineers questions about what they do and how they came to work at the University.

Our STEM role models showcased perfectly the diversity of science and engineering, with planets, aeroplanes and chocolate just a few of the subjects these women specialise in. In addition to finding out about their working lives, the girls also heard how the work of these scientists and engineers makes a difference across the world.

Read more about Who Could you BEE on the Faculty’s Hub.