Women and girls
The above was made by Westminster Academy for a Celebration of Construction Event. WISE in association with Construction Skills.
WISE works with schools, colleges and businesses to inspire women and girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers.
If you are the parent of a girl interested in STEM subjects, a student at school or college yourself or a woman working in STEM, you will find resources and information here to guide you at every stage.
A Guide for Parents - a guide to help parents understand the benefits of their daughter doing an apprenticeship in STEM.
Find out more about apprenticeships - videos of apprentices and employers talking about apprenticeships in engineering.
Organisations supporting STEM in education
A-Z of Organisations supporting STEM and widening participation in education
Building your future: discovery workshop for girls, parents and teachers
Saturday 1st February 2013, 10.30am - 1pm, Aston University, Birmingham
The event is targeted at girls aged 15-22 who have or are likely to achieve at least 5 GCSEs at Grade A*-C including English, Maths and at least one science subject. Girls who like finding out how things work, solving problems, are creative, great communicators and team players would do well in engineering and the built environment. An aptitude for Maths (ideally Grade B or above) and science obviously helps.
Find out more
RAF Course Brings Silver Award for Frances
Fifteen year old Frances Bishop from King Edward VI School in Stafford has just completed a week long engineering course at RAF Cosford winning her a Silver CREST (Creativity in Science Engineering and Technology) Award. The residential course, organised by the Royal Air Force to encourage more young women to consider careers in engineering, saw Frances working on a Jet Provost Aircraft; rigging and operating radio and communications equipment; designing, building and firing a cardboard rocket; and working sophisticated radar tracking equipment – all under the watchful eye and guidance of qualified RAF Air Women.
“I think WISE is brilliant!” said Frances at the end of her course with the RAF who are an Inaugural Member of WISE “I really enjoyed the radar and communications sessions. I am in the Air Cadets, so I had already used some of the equipment but to learn how, technically, it works was really interesting. I knew before the course that I want to join the RAF but this course has made me think about applying to Welbeck College and really work on my physics, maths, French and geography at A level!”
It was certainly a full-on week for the eighteen girls drawn from schools across England. In addition to the hands-on engineering projects, the girls also learned how to pack a life raft, design and build a small glider and learned about the RAF’s survival equipment used by fast jet air crew.
Squadron Leader Glynis Dean, course organiser, said: “This Women in Science and Engineering course is not designed to recruit girls to the RAF, simply to use our fantastic facilities at RAF Cosford to give youngsters a taste of what careers in engineering have to offer. It is vital to the future of this country that more young people follow engineering and technological careers and the girls on this course have certainly shown their enthusiasm and potential!”
Frances, who successfully completed the additional project work through the week to qualify for her CREST Award, said: “The course was most valuable by giving the opportunity to talk to women already serving in the RAF. Just having those conversations with air women engineers has given me a lot more confidence in thinking about my future.”
BBC Academy Young Technologists
Held in partnership with BBC Outreach, the BBC Academy Young technologists events have so far taken place in London, Cardiff and Manchester. These events give pupils and teachers from local schools the rare chance to spend a day learning about the many ways engineering, technology and software development are utilised by a national broadcaster. Watch a film of an event here.
The Big Bang Fair 2013
Girls share their ideas about science, Big Bang Fair, March 2013
WISE, Intel and the Institute of Physics ran four workshops at the Big Bang Fair in London, facilitated by young women working as scientists and engineers in industry, the Police, international development and academic research.
Here is what some of the girls said about their experience of the day:
"I think to get people involved in STEM, or science, by advertisements, is to not dress girls up, but let them be themselves."
"You shouldn't have to teach yourself. It should be your teacher's job. They should motivate you."
"It was fun and interesting, as it showed how science can really change everything."
"I have learnt that female engineers are very low in numbers and that shocked me. I have learnt that more women need to do STEM!"
"With hard work you can achieve anything you put your mind to."
"Girls need a massive, cool role model scientist who is female. Then perhaps more girls would want to take up science."
"I enjoyed a bit of time in an all girl environment - you can say different things than at school."
WISE are always looking for inspirational role models: add your profile to the GetSET Women database.
Here is what Aritri Dhar, Associate Project Automation Specialist at Fluor Limited had to say about her experience of being a role model for WISE at the Big Bang Fair this year:
"Firstly, I would like to thank you for giving me a fantastic opportunity! I really enjoyed myself spreading awareness about a woman's role in the engineering world. The entire program was well-structured and got all the girls quite involved. It felt really nice to be on the other side of the table and I wish I had someone to tell me as well when I was of their age."
Contact WISE for advice on running your own session for girls to discuss their ideas about science, technology and engineering.
Tips on engaging girls in science, technology and engineering at the Big Bang Fair - find out more