Pupils from Alde Valley Academy and Sir John Leman High Schools in Suffolk have taken part in a pilot workshop at Sizewell B power station designed to encourage more females into science and engineering roles.
The Year 10 and 11 pupils took part in the workshop to gain a better understanding of the range of jobs on offer for students with good qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
The pilot was launched as new research into women in engineering is released. The report, ‘Igniting change: building the pipeline of female leaders in energy’ found that 61% of the top 100 UK headquartered energy companies have no women on their boards, only 5% of executive board seats are held by women and only 7% of companies have at least 25% female board representation.
Sizewell B is highlighted in the national report as an example of setting good practise by launching primary school visits to the power station and showing girls the range of roles science and engineering can lead to.
During the workshop the pupils were set a task to challenge their maths and engineering skills. The pupils worked together in teams to design and build a structure that could hold a weight. They were able to ‘buy’ simple products such as paper, tape and scissors to assist with the project. Female apprentices and technicians from Sizewell B were also on hand to support the pupils.
Teresa Featherstone, a former apprentice and now a qualified Technician at Sizewell B, helped with the delivery of the workshop and took part in a Q&A with the students. Teresa said: “I hope I was able to give the pupils an insight into how exciting a career in science and engineering can be. EDF Energy is looking for more females to join the industry and we want to show students that STEM subjects can lead to a really rewarding career.”
Kerri Barker from Alde Valley Academy said: ”The students involved have found this a very interesting and thought provoking experience. This workshop has given the girls involved a real understanding into the roles and opportunities that this industry can offer.”