Female students an get insight into a career in the sciences

  • Date

    Fri 21 Feb 20

schoolgirl at stem event

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020 was celebrated at our Colchester Campus with a major schools outreach event to promote STEM subject careers to female students.

The Women into STEM event gave more than 50 female students the opportunity to discover more about a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.

The day was organised by Make Happen, part of the Uni Connect programme funded by the Office for Students, and based at our Colchester Campus.

The year 9 students from Colchester Academy and Thomas Lord Audley School, attended talks and STEM workshops, and got the chance to explore the campus and gain an insight into student life. The event also included access to STEM lecturers, keynote speakers and women with established careers in STEM subjects.

The day kicked-off with an introductory talk life sciences lecturer Dr Aurélie Villedieu, with 'A peek into the world of microbiology'. This was followed by workshops giving the students the opportunity to use some scientific equipment, including the Medical Mavericks workshop where the students could take fake blood, record and print an ECG, try keyhole surgery and see inside the body using an ultrasound machine. Popular sessions of ‘tech speed-networking’ – with a group of successful women in STEM professionals talking to the students about their careers – rounded the day off.

Sue Green, careers lead at Thomas Lord Audley School, said: “This has really opened the girls’ eyes as to the various opportunities there are in different areas of STEM, and to show them this area is open to girls, and girls can do it. Make Happen has given us the opportunity to open young people’s eyes to so many opportunities; we are so lucky.

“We know it’s working because our figures show us, and I’d say any school not involved with outreach programmes is losing out. We’ve got an amazing university on our doorstep, and our students can see that you don’t have to move away from home to come to university and get a really good degree.”