On Friday 9th March 15 Year 7 girls had the opportunity to visit the Land Rover BAR headquarters in Portsmouth. This event was run by the 1851 Trust, the official charity of Land Rover BAR, which is a dynamic and innovative education charity committed to creating opportunities to inspire young people to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The Trust’s focus on girls comes as it is reported by WISE (campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering) that women make up just 11% of the engineering workforce, and 24% of STEM careers overall. The Trust’s roadshow days help to challenge perceptions that might put girls off. 16 leading STEM graduates and apprentices were also on hand to talk about their careers, including from BAE Systems, BT, Land Rover BAR, Airbus, and Lewmar.
The day was divided into activities designed to challenge and inspire the girls. The Inspiration Zone allowed the girls to find out about a range of careers that are available through studying science, technology, engineering and maths and that these careers are interesting and achievable. In groups of 4 or 5 they were given 10 minutes to talk to women from a range of exciting and diverse industries – even the skipper of an Ocean Youth Trust Tall Ship based in Southampton, who, at only 23,is responsible for taking groups of teenagers out on voyages.
The Investigation Zone allowed the girls to use Virtual reality as a tool for investigating places around the world and beyond – they even went to Mars! The highlight of this zone was the GlamSci activity where they made slime and ice cream. A team from the University of Portsmouth were also there to teach the girls some robotics, and in another section the girls designed a sail which was then tested in a wind tunnel allowing improvements to be made under the helpful guidance of one of the Land Rover BAR crew. Finally, they got the opportunity to use the VR to helm the America’s Cup boat in a race.
In the Growth Mindset workshop the pupils explored the principles of the Growth Mindset to develop their own ‘I can’ attitude, particularly relevant to Noadswood’s own ethos. They also participated in a team building workshop where they designed a high tech wardrobe, and a confidence building workshop in which they explored their own personality traits to find where their own strengths might lead them in the future.
Finally, Dave from Airbus arrived with a model of the next Mars Rover prototype which is being developed here in the UK. He had heard there was an event going on and popped in to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with a demonstration of the Rover’s capabilities.
The pupils had a fantastic day, engaged with all of the activities and were full of questions and ideas on the way home!