A visit for “curious and logical” girls

Back in March, #NotJustForBoys partnered with Queen’s University’s School of Electronics,  Electrical Engineering and Computing Science to showcase study and career options for girls.

19 girls from Trinity College and Girls Model were hosted by female student mentors. They organised for us to meet experts and have demonstrations of some of the technology they work with. They even gave the girls a pizza lunch!

Getting Hands On

The girls had the chance to go into the Lego studio, where the students get to build models to test ideas and technology – all with Lego constructions!

The visit to the 3D printing room was also another highlight, as there was a chance to see how interesting things could be designed and made quickly and precisely.

Two hands-on activities were real favourites. The girls had a chance to programme a drone to fly through one of the busy student break areas. This activity really showed the importance of thinking logically. It was satisfying when you got the steps exactly right, and the drone could fly safely to the other side of the room and come back to land.

In the VR (Virtual Reality) Lab, the girls were challenged to take a virtual ride in a glass lift and then walk the plank! From the looks on some of their faces, and the occasional wobbly knees, it seems it was a challenge for the nerves! Although on this visit it was just for fun, VR technology is being used in many ways, including in medicine and construction.

Student Mentors

Our university mentors were all young women taking part in a leadership development course run by Queen’s. Women are still in the minority in the EEECS school and sector. Each gave us a brilliant presentation about what inspired them to take up their course of study. They shared lots of tips and advice about choosing subjects and finding support.

They were so enthusiastic after this experience and said they will take a different attitude in relation to selecting their GCSE’s.
Teacher from Trinity School

Learning Points

One learning point was that for “some of the subject areas within the EEECS department you do not have to be really good at Maths and that being curious and logical is just as important.”

The experience made them feel a lot more confident about their potential and their own ability. One of the visiting teachers reported, “They were so enthusiastic after this experience and said they will take a different attitude in relation to selecting their GCSE’s.”

Thank you to Queen’s University Belfast School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for giving #NotJustForBoys a brilliant afternoon. We hope that you will see more girls from Belfast joining as students in the next few years!

 

Can you help inspire more girls to think about career options?

Although we can’t currently organise trips out, we are busily planning experiences which will work online.

If you can provide an inspiring virtual visit or activity which could encourage girls to consider a career in a non-traditional sector, please get in contact with the #NotJustForBoys Programme Coordinator, Amy Button, on amy.button@womenstec.org.

Outdoor Classroom for Local Primary School

Working collaboratively with Gilbert-Ash Ltd and Our Lady’s Girls Primary School, WOMEN’STEC brought over forty P7 girls together to learn carpentry skills as part of a wider outdoor classroom project. Two P7 classes attended workshop sessions where the girls took part in practical, hands-on activities to gain a deeper understanding and learning of working with wood, along with guided tuition. The P7 girls took part in making furniture from upcycling pallet wood, taking part in activities such as sanding, planing and drilling wood.  The girls loved this experience, led by female carpenters, and the girls’ determination and enthusiasm was outstanding! This project has been a great way to reach girls at a young age, help break down stereotypes and help widen career choice awareness.  It has benefited the school and the children, and resulted in an outdoor classroom for Our Lady’s Primary School, which was officially opened on 16 April 2019. Kelli Johnston, the #notjustforboys Coordinator, commented, “We’d like to thank Gilbert-Ash for inviting us to become involved in this amazing project to help create a dynamic outdoor learning space. The girls loved every minute of their time in the workshop with us, and particularly the hands-on element.  We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to introduce carpentry skills to the girls – this could definitely help steer a young person’s future career choice!” For more information on the #notjustforboys programme, please contact the Coordinator by emailing kelli.johnston@womenstec.org