To encourage more girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, recently hosted students from Denmark Road High School in Gloucester. Students from years ten to 13 spent a day at Renishaw’s New Mills headquarters in Gloucestershire to learn more about the Greenpower racing competition, which the school participates in as part of its extracurricular STEM activities. The students also took part in a range of hands-on activities to engage with different aspects of engineering, such as 3D printing.
After connecting with the school at the recent launch of its new STEM centre facility in Gloucestershire, Renishaw invited 30 students from Denmark Road High school to its New Mills site for a day of workshops, presentations and practical activities.
“Early engagement in STEM is integral to breaking down stereotypes about the industry and encouraging more young people, particularly girls, to pursue a career in engineering. These face-to-face opportunities for engagement are also essential to ensure we have a diverse future talent pipeline into the company,” explained Rebecca Bound, Early Careers STEM Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “Engaging with local schools is a great way for us to invest in future engineers, and this was brilliant opportunity as the girls were already excited about extra-curricular activities. By inviting the school to our facility, we could support their current STEM knowledge and promote our range of Early Careers opportunities. This included the more technical routes, such as apprenticeships.”
“Visiting Renishaw with our students was an interesting and positive experience,” explained Mark Waller, STEM Teacher at Denmark Road High School. It’s crucial to engage girls in STEM activities, by exposing them to real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We are not only broadening their horizons but also empowering them to see themselves as future leaders in these fields. The trip to Renishaw gave the girls already involved in the school’s Greenpower racing team an insight into different potential routes into engineering, e.g. degree apprenticeships. Our goal is to inspire and nurture their curiosity, breaking down gender stereotypes and paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse engineering community.”
During the day, students took part in a range of interactive sessions, including a sustainability workshop, a mini science experiment and a 3D printing workshop. The science experiment, based on the work of Michael Faraday, an English scientist, explored electromagnetic induction and how it applies to everyday life, such as how we generate electricity in the national grid. In the afternoon, students had a lesson in designing for 3D printing and created their own keychains that they could produce on the school’s 3D printer.
“Giving students something to take home not only reinforces their learning, but it can also extend the impact of STEM engagement,” explained Lucy Spiteri-Beale, Early Careers and STEM Outreach Tutor at Renishaw. “We often see students taking pride in sharing their accomplishments with support systems like parents and carers, creating a link between the classroom and home while reinforcing the student’s understanding.”
To support the school’s involvement with its Greenpower racing project, Renishaw’s own Greenpower team also hosted a talk. This explained how they developed an effective car, which they showed to the students to provide further inspiration.
“Extra-curricular activities are a brilliant way to get students excited about STEM, and it was great to see the students excited about a project we’re also involved with,” explained April Joynson, Commercial Graduate at Renishaw and a driver for its Greenpower team. “Greenpower is a highly effective way for students to engage with engineering, offering hands-on experience while teaching teamwork, innovation and practical problem-solving — all of which are essential for a successful engineering career.”
As part of its STEM outreach programme, Renishaw actively engages with schools local to its sites in Gloucestershire and South Wales to get students excited about pursuing engineering careers, by hosting interactive workshops, educational visits and more.
For further information on its STEM outreach programme, visit www.renishaw.com/en/stem-outreach/