National Women in Engineering Day 2016
On 23rd June 2016, CIGPE took part in Guernsey’s National Women in Engineering Day (NWED). Students from across the island were invited to attend this event at Guernsey’s College of Further Education, and around 40 girls – typically in years 9 and 10 – took part, visiting from at least four different schools.
The attendees took part in a number of technical activities, (in rotation – in small groups). These included; 3D printing, controlling small robot arms, ‘pit stop’ activities on a go-kart, and diagnostic work on a family car engine.
In between these activities, the girls heard short presentations from a number of people – including Guernsey’s new ‘student of the year’, a female engineering student from the College of Further Education, (now heading off to University on the mainland).
CIGPE provided two speakers for the event:
Catherine Harris (MICE), of Guernsey Water, who spoke about her career in engineering.She also spoke about her experience, and the experiences of other female students, while studying and training.
Paul Armstrong (MIStructE), spoke briefly about Dorothée Martin (an islander who held senior engineering positions in the UK during the war years), and went on to speak about how the environment in which female engineers now train and work has changed in recent years.
Both Catherine and Paul strongly encouraged the attendees to seriously consider careers in engineering, stressing the worth and satisfaction of this work and pointing out the general skills shortage in this part of the UK’s economy.
The attendees listened, and appeared to enjoy, the activities and presentations. There were a number of probing questions asked – particular by a few girls whose interest had evidently been piqued.
Feedback from the event was very good. Schools taking part warmly praised the event, and expressed their intention to take part again next year. The College of Further Education is planning to run the event next year, and hopes to expand it.