Celebration of the Creativity of Hampshire Female Students at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

As part of National Women in Engineering Day, http://www.nwed.org.uk, young women from eight local schools worked with 25 female STEM Ambassadors from local companies to design marble runs and find out more about engineering.

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The day began with a marble run design challenge, which included an opportunity for students to look at each others’ designs (for extra inspiration and collaboration). Towards the end of this session, groups of 20 students were asked to combine their marble runs so that 4 mega-designs were assembled by the end of the morning. STEM Ambassadors mentored the students as they designed and built their inventions and other ambassadors assessed the students’ work. The performance of each marble run was then captured on video!

This was followed by a half hour speed-networking session (involving nearly everyone) so that students could talk informally with a range of engineers to find out what it is like to work in different STEM industries.

After lunch, a compilation video of the morning’s inventions was screened in the planetarium and three STEM Ambassadors, Amelia Gould, Melanie Dixon and Helen Butcher reported on the strengths of each team. One of the aims of the day was to emphasise how highly cooperation and teamwork are valued by STEM employers. All attendees then heard inspirational speeches from STEM Ambassadors including: Justine Taylor-Knightbridge of Capita, and Selina Breed, Kimberley Sowden, Neena Sangha and Sheridan Church of MatchTech (leading technical recruitment company).

The atmosphere throughout the day was very positive. Some students wrote;

“I actually really like the idea of engineering and wanted to do it before coming, I like it even more now!”

“I really enjoyed building the marble run and how everybody’s different ideas joined together.”

“It has made me think differently about engineering as I thought it was quite interesting and had only one topic. Now I realise it’s quite interesting and there is loads to it.”

“Before coming I didn’t really know what engineering was like, I thought it was just oil and nails!”

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