February 2014 Newsletter

In this first issue of our roundup of what's been happening, we explore Girls' Taster Days in Food Engineering, detail our plans for a Sheffield STEM festival, highlight our involvement with various RAF programmes, and give space to some work experience students to share their thoughts about the jam-packed two weeks they spent with us at WiSET last year! There's also details of some of the upcoming events we are involved in.

Women in Technology Event

Join us at a FREE Women in Technology event on Thursday 6 March from 10.30 am until 2 pm (lunch provided) in Owen 941, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University. Hear from women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and find out about opportunities and support available locally to help you develop your career. Network over lunch with employers and talk to people involved in High-Tech sectors locally.

Whether you are a student, already in work or just thinking about getting ready to return after a break, there may well be a career for you in STEM. All welcome. Numbers are limited so to make sure your place is reserved, please book through Eventbrite here.

Food Engineering - Girls' Taster Days

The WiSET team has been having some fun recently exploring options in the food and drink manufacturing sector. From September 2014, Sheffield Hallam will be offering the UK's first Food Engineering Degree, and WiSET are really keen to build on this initiative to encourage girls to consider careers in a growing sector. Food and drink manufacturing companies in the UK have continued to expand in spite of the recession and the sector is predicted to need more than 170,000 graduate engineers by 2020.

Girls from all over the UK were invited to join the WiSET team at Coca Cola in Wakefield and at Mondelez in Sheffield for factory tours and a chance to meet women working in exciting roles in the industry. As well as witnessing the incredible speed and efficiency of the mechanisms and processes involved in both companies, the girls were set challenges by the employers to tackle real life production problems. In the case of Mondelez, this involved trying to find ways to stop liquorice allsorts from sticking together in the bagging process.

According to Martin North, Chief Engineer at Mondelez Sheffield, the girls came up with some fantastic suggestions for refining the factory's processes. At Coca Cola in Wakefield, recent engineering graduate Danielle Epstein told the girls about her role in the company and her reasons for choosing her career route. She told the girls that studying an engineering degree meant that she had developed a wide range of skills including team work and problem solving, and that she felt it had equipped her for 'pretty much anything'!

To find out more information about careers in food engineering, visit www.foodengineer.co.uk

Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering

The WiSET team are already working on their plans for the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering which takes place from 14th-22nd March 2014. Events include:

  • A business breakfast with Sheffield MP Meg Munn on 14th March
  • Exploring STEM for Girls event on 19th March, organised with the University of Sheffield
  • Science on a Soap Box event on 20th March

Full details of these and other events that WiSET are involved in are provided at the end of this newsletter.

The team will also be working with colleagues in the Centre for Science Education to ensure that women are really well represented within the Festival's Public and Schools Programmes, and that a broad range of people are encouraged to attend the many opportunities available throughout the week.

During last year's festival, teachers from South Yorkshire pledged to encourage girls to consider a future in science, engineering, technology and maths at an inspirational careers day which WiSET co-delivered with the University of Sheffield. Over 300 girls from the region attended the Discover STEM for Girls event with their teachers, to learn more about careers, apprenticeships and vocational courses, and take part in a range of fun practical activities.


WiSET's work with the Royal Air Force

The RAF-WISE Evaluation & Conference Paper

WiSET continues to support the Royal Air Force (RAF) in its efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce. The RAF-WISE Evaluation is the result of a survey of girls who have participated in a specially designed STEM work experience week for three years. The results indicate that the most memorable thing for the girls is the activity where they remove and repair part of an aircraft wing.

The outcomes of the survey also formed the basis of a paper presented at the ECER Conference in Istanbul in 2013. The paper explored value of work based experiential learning for girls, discussed some of the wider issues of recruitment into STEM and the links to career thinking and learning.

More information about RAF-WISE in 2014 will be available on the WISE and WiSET websites soon!

Climb every mountain? New RAF "Everest Expedition" resources

Members of the WiSET Team have been working with colleagues in the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES) at Sheffield Hallam to design a new programme for the RAF. The 'Virtual Summit' materials, based on an Everest challenge, were developed to encourage boys and girls to set realistic targets for fitness activities. The materials are flexible and teachers have also used them for goal setting in Science and in Careers lessons. Pupils at Yewlands, Handsworth Grange and Eckington Schools have enthusiastically engaged in the 'pilot' project and some pupils visited RAF Cranwell for a specially arranged 'personal development' day in July. The materials are still being tested at the moment and will be rolled out to more schools after Christmas.

MBE for Squadron Leader Dean

Congratulations to Squadron Leader Glyn Dean, who was awarded an MBE last year in recognition of her work in equality and diversity. Glyn has been a supporter of WiSET and the Centre for Science Education for a number of years, speaking at equality and diversity events and presenting joint papers at conferences. As well as promoting STEM to girls, she works on other areas of diversity to encourage more applications from people from different backgrounds. Glyn travelled to Buckingham Palace with her family to collect her MBE.

Work experience with WiSET

Hinde House High School students Sophie and Mohamood joined WiSET for two jam-packed weeks for their work experience last Summer. As well as spending time with us at SHU, they visited other schools and colleges with WiSET staff, took part in STEM events, went to industrial sites and had a go on a professional flight simulator!

To read their own newsletter about their experience click here

Other upcoming events

Café Scientifique - It's Different for Girls

Date: Monday 3rd March 2014, 7.00-8.30pm
Venue: The Showroom, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX
Audience: Adults

Why don't more girls choose engineering and physical sciences, and who has a responsibility to do something about it? Join the discussion and air your views.

No booking required.

Business Breakfast with WiSET & Sheffield MP Meg Munn

Date: Friday 14th March, 9.00-10.30am
Venue: Hallam View, Owen Building Floor 6, Sheffield Hallam University City Campus
Audience: Businesses, Employers and HR professionals

Find out what others are doing to encourage more women into STEM careers, and join us over coffee and pastries in helping to make South Yorkshire the place of choice for women in STEM.

Please reserve your place beforehand - Telephone 0114 225 2878 or email wiset@shu.ac.uk

Explore: Science and Engineering @ SHU

Date: Saturday 15th March, 1.00-4.00pm
Venue: Pod C, The Hubs, Student Union, Sheffield Hallam University City Campus
Audience: Suitable for all

Sheffield Hallam University will be welcoming members of the public in to experience the work that done across the sciences and engineering departments. The session will include a variety of hands-on activities, centred on the various research projects they engaged in. Activities will range from forensic investigations, to robotics, to a mobile virtual reality kit. The activities are appropriate for children and adults of all ages to enjoy. WiSET are presenting at this event, which is free of charge. Light refreshments will be made available.

No booking required.

The Science in Brewing, with Claire Monk & Bob Kiddle

Date: Monday 17th March, 6.30 - 9.00pm
Venue: Welbeck Abbey Brewery, Welbeck, North Notts - www.welbeckabbeybrewery.co.uk
Audience: Over 18s only

A special event at Welbeck Abbey Brewery to see the brewery, sample the beer and have a bite to eat, as well as exploring the science behind brewing. The will be some hands-on experiments with Bob Kiddle and you will hear from some of the region's micro-brewers, including Claire Monk, Head Brewer at Welbeck - one of the few women in brewing and also one of the youngest (and a former student of microbiology and bio-chemistry at Sheffield University). Bob Kiddle was Head of Science at Hungerhill School, near Doncaster till 2007. He now organises and delivers a range of training and consultancy projects for physics and chemistry in secondary schools in the north of England and he is an active member of CAMRA.

To reserve a place contact Pat Morton on 0114 225 4695 or email p.m.morton@shu.ac.uk

Sheffield Hallam University STEM Teach Night

Date: Tuesday 18 March, 4.30-7.30pm
Venue: CSE, Room 941, 9th Floor of Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University City Campus
Audience: Teachers of Science, Design & Technology, Engineering, Maths; Careers professionals, STEM co-ordinators and people wanting to find out more about teaching in a STEM subject.

A special event for teachers and allied professions who want to get up to speed with the world of STEM education; explore enrichment and employer-led activities for schools; learn more about CPD and further study; find out how your school can benefit from participating, and hear about our new projects that you and your school could be involved with. We are also here to talk to those who may want to become teachers in the STEM subjects.

This is a 'drop-in' informal event with some workshops for which booking is required. For further information contact Dr Pat Morton on 0114 225 4695 or email p.m.morton@shu.ac.uk

Exploring STEM for Girls

Date: Wednesday 19th March 10.00-3.00pm
Venue: Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield
Audience: For girls in Years 9-11 from schools in the Sheffield City Region. Teachers can bring a large or small group, but bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum capacity of 350 students.

This event will give girls a chance to:

There will also be a workshop session for teachers, including activities and ideas to use in the classroom.

To register, contact University of Sheffield at science-engineering@sheffield.ac.uk.

Science On A Soapbox

Date: Thursday 20th March 2014, time TBC
Venue: CSE, Room 941, 9th Floor Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University City Campus
Audience: Year 7-10 students from 2-3 schools with a maximum of 15 students per school. Girls and boys welcome.

Students will meet men and women who work in science, engineering, architecture and planning; take part in hands-on activities and find out how science, technology, engineering and maths subjects can widen future career choices for all students. With Dr Pat Morton, Jill Collins and Denise Eaton from CSE/WiSET.

Booking details TBC

Let us know your story... if you want to shout about something you have done to promote equality and diversity or widening participation... or perhaps you would like to share your own career experience so other girls and women can be inspired or encouraged... Get in touch!

We have lots of experience in developing innovative solutions to the challenges of occupational segregation and the promotion of equality and diversity. We welcome enquiries from those who share our interests. If you would like to discuss or develop a proposal, draw on our services or work in partnership with us, we would like to hear from you.

Visit our website: www.wiset.org.uk
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Email us: wiset@shu.ac.uk