A series of Girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) engineering days have been hosted this year by Renishaw, mainly throughout June at the Renishaw Miskin site in South Wales. These three activity days for local school girls, on June 19th, 22nd and 29th, aimed to inspire the female engineers of the future with hands-on activities and provided an introduction to career opportunities in the sector.
Renishaw collaborated with the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) to advertise these events to schools in the local area. One of EESW’s staff, along with Sarah Lewis, Fabrication Development Centre (FDC) Tutor at Miskin and two female engineers from Renishaw’s Gloucestershire base ran sessions on engineering and software skills.
Groups of year eight and nine female students were given a guided tour of the Miskin manufacturing site and learned about engineering careers at Renishaw. The girls also participated in hands-on activities including C++ coding for ‘RenBed’ buggies that are programmed with line code to guide them around a track. The aim of this event was to help girls understand that software coding is important for everyday engineering and give them insight into a subject that may be a potential career opportunity for them in the future.
“We hope that education days like these will help close the gender gap in the engineering sector and encourage more girls to study engineering in secondary school and higher education,” explained Rebecca Bound, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “The success of last year’s event lead many of the schools to return for other workshops, compelling us to continue these activity days. Girls must understand that engineering can be a good career prospect for them.”
“With very few female engineers in the sector, as well as a growing skills gap, employers need to do more to promote STEM subjects to girls. Renishaw’s education outreach programme hosts many events that encourage future engineers to join our apprenticeships and graduate schemes,” explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. “This event gave female students insight into the potential opportunities in the sector and the different paths that they can take into a career in engineering.”
EESW is a charity that collaborates with businesses to run educational schemes across Wales, motivating young people to further their education in STEM subjects. Participating students can learn essential skills to improve their employability, while gaining practical experience in industry by visiting companies such as Renishaw.
The Girls into STEM engineering event also coincided with National Women in Engineering Day, on June 23rd. This day celebrates the achievements of female engineers, who act as role models for girls that are interested in science but unsure of how to start a career in the sector.