Girls succeed in STEM at Warwick University

Eighty girls aged 13, from schools across the UK, benefited from a unique hands-on learning experience at the University of Warwick on the Girls into Engineering residential course.

The course was generously supported by The ERA Foundation, GE and Leonardo. We are also most grateful to Jaguar Land Rover, Transport for London, University of Warwick and WMG for working with the students. This 4-day residential programme was organised by The Smallpeice Trust to provide female students with the opportunity to learn about engineering through a series of presentations and practical workshops.

The Year 9 females were given an insight into engineering through presentations from top-class engineers including Jaguar Land Rover, Leonardo, GE and Transport for London. They were divided into small teams and given an introduction to basic engineering principles through a weighted bridge icebreaker challenge.

In their teams, the future engineers were tasked with creating an off-road vehicle to travel a pre-determined course, using tools and materials provided. Students were guided through all stages of product development with the support of expert engineers. From the initial concept to final testing, the students were faced with real-life issues including the need to work within a budget and make the project commercially viable.

As well as the practical side of the course, students enjoyed an evening social programme that included a film night, sports night, and a formal dinner and disco that featured an after dinner speaker from Leonardo.

Smallpeice Trust Education Officer Emma Culey said “It has been great to be pivotal in giving these budding female engineers an opportunity to learn all about the diverse careers available in engineering. Challenging projects were led by some of the biggest names in the engineering industry, for which we are very grateful. All credit to the students on the course as they all embraced the opportunity and showed extreme dedication and enthusiasm to their projects and the course as a whole.”