It was a day of learning new skills, problem solving, developing understanding of global issues, breaking down stereotypes and a lot of fun at Birmingham City University last Friday. All in celebration of International Women in Engineering Day #INWED18
80 girls aged 12-16 years from 5 different schools took part in our Squashed Tomato Challenge, designing, building and testing a model of a system to move tomatoes down a mountainside…which in the real world would enable famers to transport tomatoes to market.
They had mentors from local industry working with them, fantastic female role models from BWB consulting, Arup and others.
Both teachers and pupils were full of enthusiasm for the day, and the opportunity it gave the girls to work together and find their own solution to a problem faced by a community in the developing world.
The impact the day had on the girls can be seen in their own reflections…
‘’Engineering is not as boring as I thought it was…it helps people around the world’ Kitty, aged 13, Tudor Grange
‘When you think of engineering you think of things like cars, but from today I know there are more parts to engineering, like using it to help people…and not only men can be engineers but women too.’ Caitlin, aged 12 , Tudor Grange
‘I really liked it today as it has made me feel I can do something to help other people. I am disabled so I understand how some people need more help than others. It made me want to give donations, and to tell people not to feel sad because there are solutions’ Payal, age 16, Mosley Park
Teachers at the event told me they were keen to get back into school and do this challenge (and others) with their other pupils
‘I think this is fantastic. It’s a practical application and really easy to run. Great that it is set in a real world context that the kids can relate to. I’m thinking we could use it for a CREST award’ Hannah Grey, Assistant Head Teacher, Langley School
If you would like to do any of our STEM challenges and maybe use them to enable your pupils to gain a CREST award go to www.practicalaction.org/STEM. To download for free. All challenges are designed to fit the UK science curriculum and come with teacher’s notes, pupil worksheets. PPT, poster and certificates.