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Inspired by Science
27 September 2019
Twelve girls from Year 9 recently attended the annual Girls in STEM conference at the University of Birmingham. This was an opportunity for the girls to find out more about career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and to meet other girls interested in these areas from a range of other schools.
On arrival, the girls received a big bag of goodies and brochures with information about University courses available in all areas of STEM and the many careers in this area.
The opening talk was by a representative from the firm Caterpillar, who showed us just how many branches of STEM there are in just this one organisation. We were also introduced to the availability of jobs in STEM for people with the right skills and education, and how keen these industries are to employ young women into these roles.
From there we moved on to our first workshop, which was on astrophysics. Here, the girls created models of extrasolar planetary systems, looking for planets that lie in the habitable ‘goldilocks zone’ that could be candidates for Earth version 2.0 or even where we might discover alien life.
The second workshop, focused on making sense of random data, included piecing together jigsaws of seemingly random numbers, such as shoe size, and getting an introduction into some of the mathematics that still allows us to make predictions when no pattern is clear.
To end the day, the girls listened to a fascinating lecture from a Chemist who discussed how her career had taken her all around the world from Berlin to Japan. She also focused on how studying natural phenomena such as the growth of urchin shells and seaweed is helping us to develop new ways to produce materials required for the future.
At the end of the day the girls were taken on a tour of the campus by a Mechanical Engineering student and learnt more about living and studying at university.
It was an informative and empowering day filled with laughter and new experiences.
Inspiration at STEM conference
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