August 2018

Girls into Engineering 2018

Held at Wilberforce College, this fun and practical day aims to inspire attendees to consider a future in engineering.

This year’s event, organised in partnership with Withernsea High School, UKSTEM and Woman into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME), came in the same year as a government-led campaign to tackle an engineering skills gap through a focus on careers as part of a ‘National Year of Engineering’.

Withernsea’s students joined others from Malet Lambert, Newland High School, Winifred Holtby and Kelvin Hall to learn more about the opportunities available to them in what are traditionally seen as male-dominated careers.

Over 20 female engineers from companies such as BaE, BP, Siemens, KCOM, The Spencer Group and Airco attended the event to share their knowledge and experience. 

The day began with an inspiring talk from Dr Catherine Dobson of Hull University’s Engineering Department. Dr Dobson became interested in a career in engineering from learning about one of the UK’s first female engineering role models, Hull’s own Amy Johnson.

Throughout the day, students took part in several different activities to help them become aware of the variety of careers open to them in the engineering and technology sectors. These included speed interviewing the guest engineers; designing and making a working fruit sorting machine from scrap materials and using a Virtual Cockpit Flight Simulator to land a plane.

The event also offered an opportunity for its participants to further enhance developing employability skills such as team-work, communication and problem solving. 

Beci Pindar, Assistant Headteacher of Withernsea High School and joint presenter of the day’s activities commented: ‘Our annual Girls into Engineering day is about enabling local schoolgirls to understand the options that are out there for their futures.

There is a real shortage of both female role models and females taking up STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) careers. A Royal Academy of Engineering report stated that 73% of parents said they believed that other subjects offer better career opportunities for girls than engineering – despite the fact that the UK needs 1 million more engineers by 2020.

This isn’t about asking girls to change, it’s about showing them what is available and what great opportunities there are for them, many here in our local area.'