Almost 300 Girls Get Into Physics at Vale of Leven Academy

Issued: Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:28:00 GMT

Organised by teachers Rebecca Chrystie and Rhona McCaughey, the Girls Into Physics event held on the 12th of February managed to attract 290 girls from across nine schools.

The audience was treated to seven unique sessions which exhibited the best of women in the discipline. Girls were presented to by companies Thales, Babcock and SSE while there were also speakers from Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities. A female panel then rounded off the event with a Q & A session in which girls were told:

“The more women there are the more comfortable women feel in any industry.”

The event was opened by a presentation by Alison Ward of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) who told pupils that, despite not having a physics degree, she went on to become a civil engineer. She stressed that civil engineering was not just about building and construction, stating that she has worked on a diverse range of projects with organisations such as Scottish Water. Ward then drilled down into the statistics of engineering claiming that of the 54,000 engineers required in the UK each year only 12,000 engineer graduates fill those positions and that 39% of UK businesses find it difficult to make good use of STEM qualifies graduates. She finished her introduction by wishing everyone an inspiring day, saying “today is the day for you”.

Attendees heard from both male and female STEM Ambassadors and others within industry concerning how important physics can be as a subject. Natasha Jeffery from the University of Glasgow talked to the pupils about exo-planets and star spectroscopy. She explained to the pupils how she had studied the vast numbers of planets which are out there and explained how they are similar to our own planet.

STEM Ambassador Scott Parrack, an aeromechanical engineer for SSE, demonstrated how physics and maths needs to be used to when designing an effective aeroplane while those from Thales discussed the many different apprenticeships and graduate development programmes available.

One spectator said: “It was good seeing those from industry because they were once in a similar situation to us and they didn’t know what they wanted to do when they left school. As pupils we can relate to them.”

If you are organising an event and require STEM Ambassadors then please contact Science Connects:

stem-ambassadors@glasgow.ac.uk


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