On Tuesday 22 September, Year 10 went to W5 for a ‘Women in STEM Careers’ event along with pupils from St Columbanus and Strangford College. This event was organised by the North Down and Ards Learning Community.
There, using a PowerPoint presentation, they showed us all the opportunities women can have in STEM careers to assure us that the jobs weren’t just for men and to encourage us to consider these careers for ourselves.
We were lucky enough to have Dr. Kerry Hughes join us from Queens University Belfast. She talked about her job (researcher into prostate cancer) and gave us advice on what subjects it would be helpful to choose if we were to follow a science career like hers. She then demonstrated some experiments using the elements that humans are made up of (Hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon) and asked some pupils up to participate. This resulted in lots of smoke, gases, pops and even a cooked egg!
After that, in small groups, we were able to interview a variety of women in STEM careers such as: architects from White Ink, engineers in Bombardier, civil engineers and research biologists from Queens University Belfast. We all found the interviews very helpful as they informed us of various jobs that we may want to have a career in and gave us the opportunity to ask some questions. They also gave us guidance on what GCSEs to choose for STEM careers.
Then, after lunch, we were given some free time to meander around W5 exhibitions and were able to try out the new climbing frame.
At the end of our trip, we are all now more aware of the opportunities we have in STEM careers. We received a goody bag with a STEM ruler, pen and pencil as well as leaflets with more information, including useful websites, if we wish to find out more.
By Lucy McCune and Jessica Lord 10E