South West Region celebrates International Women in Engineering Day 2017

ICE representatives held events on International Women in Engineering Day at Truro High School for Girls and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

INWED17 at Truro High School for Girls.
INWED17 at Truro High School for Girls.

On Friday 23 June at Clifton Suspension Bridge, the first ever female Bridge Master Trish Johnson hosted coffee morning at the visitors centre followed by a full tour of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults. Trish gave an overview of the history of the bridge, looking at the work currently being done and took questions from those in attendance. Thank you to Clifton Suspension Bridge and Trish Johnson for hosting the event.

INWED17 at Clifton Suspension Bridge
INWED17 at Clifton Suspension Bridge

Also on the day ICE supported by locally based engineers from AECOM, Ward Williams Associates and WSP promoted careers in civil engineering to celebrate 'International Women in Engineering' day on June 23rd. The event was hosted by the Truro High School for Girls who invited 200 Year 8 girls from 12 different schools located throughout Cornwall to learn about civil engineering and other forms of engineering as a potential career choice for the future.

A couple of lab based interactive STEM activities were developed, building on the successes from last year's event at the school and this year the teams of 4 or 5 girls were tasked with building a bridge out of straws and cardboard, to span a 30cm gap. Each team was provided with an industry style brief and some useful information sources covering design principles and were assisted by our volunteering members.

While the teams of girls didn't have a defining budget, the cost of the materials purchased by each team was required and affordability was factored into the judging criteria. At the end of the two-hour session the structures were tested to destruction, much to the delight of all, and were judged on their ability to carry the highest load at the most affordable cost.

Feedback following the event from the organisers was very positive with the following comments made: - "A huge thank you from all of us at Truro High for attending our International Women in Engineering Day. I know the girls enjoyed the day and hopefully they got an insight into the many different types of engineering available in this ever-growing sector. There was certainly quite a buzz in the labs and the hall as they asked questions and worked together to figure things out. Given that they were in mixed groups, it was great to see them working with people they didn't know at the start of the day, after all, life is like that!"

Thanks to ICE members Niall Parkinson (AECOM), Kieren Couch, Gary Cutts (Ward Williams Associates) and Sam Bartle, Ashley Wellington, Jessica Willey and Nuria Zea (WSP) for devising the activities and making the day such a success.

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