09 July 2019
Following International Women In Engineering Day (23 June), we reflect on how Gaia Innovation’s and Silverstone Park’s Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) schools programme is raising awareness among girls about career opportunities in high-tech engineering and, longer-term, helping to empower them in the workplace.
Teachers have reacted positively to how (I4I) is helping to ‘switch on’ female students to consider careers in engineering.
Pupils aged 10-15 from partner schools Kingsthorpe College, Northampton, Silverstone UTC and The Buckingham School, plus those from Beachborough School (Bucks) and Riverside Academy (Derby) have visited the estate for tours of its high-tech businesses.
TD Group (tech recruitment), Ducati UK (motorcycles), Delta Motorsport (EV & autonomous vehicles), David Brown Automotive (niche luxury vehicles), National College for Motorsport (motorsport technician training), SportPesa Racing Point Formula One Team (F1) and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (metrology) have all volunteered their time.
Here is some of the feedback so far…
Marina Jackson, Under 19 Skills Manager, Bucks Business First
“Inspiration for Innovation is giving girls at The Buckingham School access to female role models in a traditionally male-dominated sector, showing them why engineering is a careers path worth considering and is accessible to them.”
Diane Fisher, Young Enterprise Lead, Kingsthorpe College
“I4I has been a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness about careers in engineering. It’s opened up a whole new world for girls to express their talents using technology, being creative with it, and solving problems. It has changed their mindset and allowed them to believe that anything is possible!”
Christian Pritchard, Headteacher, Beachborough School
“Our active promotion of girls into the technology and engineering sectors was helped tremendously during our visit as many of the engineers, designers and scientists the children met were female.”
Becky Waites, Assistant Principal, Lakeside Academy
“This is possibly the most inspirational trip I’ve ever taken the children on – it’s really helped to open their eyes to the future, particularly the girls in terms of the different types of careers in technology.”
As recently reported, data revealed that Inspiration for Innovation achieved over 2,000 ‘positive interactions’ between its volunteer businesses and pupils from Sept 2018-Feb 2019 alone – more than double its original entire first year target.