LEADING aerospace firm Leonardo marked International Women in Engineering Day 2019 with a colourful celebration of engineering for local girls
As part of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society, Leonardo based at Crewe Toll, celebrated this landmark with an International Women in Engineering Day for more than 60 local P6 girls from Pirniehall, Craigroyston and Forthview Primary Schools.
The goal of the day was to offer the girls a colourful, vibrant experience of engineering which would stay in their minds when they return to school to help them reframe STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects, which many girls are now opting to study.
Activities began with a dynamic presentation from former Leonardo employee and Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Naomi Mitchison. Her talk immediately sparked interest amongst the girls when she outlined the qualities which are important in engineering which they may not have suspected. These included imagination, creativity, listening, understanding and helping people – “It’s about dreaming up things that don’t yet exist.”
A sense of playfulness was the theme for the rest of the day with games centred around smart cars steered through state-of-the-art virtual reality masks and remote controls, Rampaging Chariot Robots, LED circuit building to add capability to fictitious surveillance aircraft, and a “clean room” where the girls became engineers tasked with helping to ensure products were delivered to schedule.
The girls were also given the chance to construct a bridge using a design created by Leonardo da Vinci, which required them to work as a closely coordinated team to solve problems and make the best use of the materials provided.
The day concluded with a presentation from Anne Mccluskey, Senior HR Advisor, who encouraged the girls to look take a look at the world around them with fresh eyes, with an awareness that almost everything has been engineered to some extent.
Anne said: “Engineering is in everything we use from mobile phones to the taps that we wash our hands under. This morning they met not only Naomi Mitchison, former Young Woman Engineer of the Year, but also many of our talented female engineers. I told them about Leonardo da Vinci himself, an artist and sculptor, but also an engineer. I finished by setting them some homework to find out about Greta Thunberg the environmentalist and Malala Yousafzai, the education activist – underlining the importance of education and how you can fix the problems in the world.
“It ended with the question: ‘Can girls do whatever they put their minds to?’ –which received a resounding yes.”