Women in Engineering Beat the Flood!

Beat the Flood challenge, women in Engineering day8  schools, 90 girls, 15 volunteers from industry; loads of junk modelling material, water and a Practical Action STEM challenge …the perfect combination for a National Women in Engineering and the Build Environment Day event at Birmingham City University. #NWED2016

The girls had an engineering challenge…to build a model house strong enough to ‘Beat the Flood’. With support from women working in the engineering sector, they had two hours to research the needs of different communities on a fictitious island; test different structures and material, then design and build a model.  The model was then tested outside Millennium Point by standing in water and having water poured on it!

Based on Practical Action’s work on flood proof housing in Bangladesh the girls found out all sorts of things about engineering, team work and some of the challenges faced by people in Bangladesh that they didn’t realise before.

‘Before today I didn’t know engineering could be about helping people in other countries’’

’I really like all working together…we didn’t know each other until today’’

‘’We had a plan, but then we didn’t have the materials we needed so we had to adjust our design.’’

‘That team over there copied our design!’

‘That doesn’t work, why we don’t try…’

‘I wish we could do more things like this is school’

‘How can we make the base more stable?’

The teachers and mentors were impressed with how well the girls worked together and some of the solutions they came up with. Everyone enjoyed testing the models outside!

For a set of materials to run this challenge in your school and for other STEM challenges please go to www.practicalaction.org/stem

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