GiST Cymru Half Term Events – Inspiring Girls into Science and TechnologyPublished on 16 March 2020
Technocamps inspires young women to take up careers in STEM with half-term workshops in both North and South Wales
Since the launch of GiSTCymru at the University of South Wales last year, Technocamps has designed and delivered a range of activities to promote careers in STEM for girls. The latest sessions took place over the Spring half term, in our regional hubs at Bangor University and Treforest in the South Wales Valleys. Both hubs hosted groups of girls from local secondary schools participating in workshops and activities, delivered in conjunction with partners from local industries.
At Bangor University, the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering hosted twenty-five students ageing between 11 and 14. The theme of the event was “What kind of scientist could I be?”
Technocamps Delivery Officer, Dr Mollie Duggan-Edwards, led a ‘Brain Games’ workshop where the girls worked in teams on a number of problem-solving challenges. Following this, with help from Dr Peter Lawrence and Dr Paula de la Barra from the School of Ocean Sciences, the girls used VR headsets to assess the surface complexity of seawalls and understand how they affect ecosystem structures Nuclear Scientist Megan Owen taught the girls about electronics and delivered a very (inter?)active robotics workshop.
The girls had the opportunity to fly and code mini-drones to complete a pre-designed obstacle course. Airbus was on hand to deliver a session to design a cabin to optimise the profitability of the airline, and Michelle Symonds from British Gas focused her session on ‘future energy’ needs.
In the meantime, pupils from local Valleys schools spent time with the Technocamps team at the University of South Wales where they worked on a number of different technology-related projects. These included creating a quiz in Python, and designing games using Microbit technology. British Gas was again able to deliver their energy workshop with groups coming up with ideas for hot air balloons powered by biogas and a turbine system that fits into water pipes in your house to generate electricity from the running water.
Pupil Charlotte really enjoyed the sessions and told us:
“My favourite activity was coding with Python to make a quiz. I learnt how to use Python properly and how to debug better. I really enjoyed my Technocamps (experience) and would recommend it to others. I can’t wait to go again!”
The sessions ended with a showcasing opportunity where the participants’ families were invited to meet and greet the team and see the incredible progress that has been made by their children.
“We particularly enjoyed being invited to the Parents’ Award event ... seeing coding in action is brilliant. The pride on the faces of all the girls was clear for all to see as they excitedly shared their work. A superb project, helping girls to see that coding and jobs in technology are available as career choices and are fun.” Andrew, GiST Cymru Parent.
Technocamps is extremely proud of the work that we do, especially to encourage young girls to take up STEM subjects and careers. The GiSTCymru programme is designed to do just that. We look forward to many more activities and GiSTCymru events happening in the future.
When Colette Hughes was deciding on a topic for one of her final assessments as part of her teacher training, she was inspired by a Technocamps workshop that the Bangor team had delivered to her class a week earlier.
It is common to think that once you have a full-time job, your education stops. Here at Technocamps and the Institute of Coding in Wales, we believe that learning is a continuous process that you can pursue at any stage of life.