Summer conference encourages girls to take up careers in STEM subjects

Girls throughout the UK are being invited to apply to take part in a summer event aimed at showing them that career opportunities are 'endless' in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Women in Engineering Conference – which will take place from Monday, July 30, to Wednesday, August 1 - is a collaboration between The University of Aberdeen, St Margaret’s School for Girls and oil and gas giant Chevron.

Open to girls aged 15-17, the fully-funded residential course will be hosted by the University and will give successful applicants an opportunity to explore engineering in both a university environment and the workplace.  They will stay in halls of residence supervised by experienced teachers, and will receive a travel bursary.

A highly interactive programme with hands-on activities, engineering-based tasks, team challenges and speed mentoring sessions with female engineers is planned, along with a visit to Chevron’s Aberdeen HQ, where they will see the integrated operations centre and emergency response room and have an opportunity to interact with engineers.

There will also be an evening programme, allowing attendees a taste of life in a halls of residence, as well as the chance to experience the many sporting facilities on offer at the University of Aberdeen and university life in general.

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 16, and candidates will be selected on the basis of their application and school reference.  

St Margaret’s head teacher Anna Tomlinson said that applications for the 50 places have already been received from throughout the UK, but organisers are looking to recruit more talent.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this Women in Engineering conference alongside the University of Aberdeen and Chevron, who have so generously supported the event,” she said.

“The school has already held two hugely successful one-day Women in Engineering events in partnership with the University, and it made sense going forward for us to build on that success and expand the initiative to a three-day residential course.

“As the only girls’ school in Aberdeen, we have long been committed to eradicating gender stereotypes around subject and career choice.

“We consider ourselves exceptionally fortunate to have two world-class universities on our doorstep, providing a diverse range of degree courses for those attracted to a STEM career.

“We were delighted when, in 2016, the University of Aberdeen approached us to discuss how together we might break down some of the barriers which prevent girls from considering a career in engineering.”

Greta Lydecker, Managing Director of Chevron Upstream Europe, said: "Chevron supports advancing STEM education and creating more opportunities for today's students, both boys and girls, and views programmes like this as key to maintaining competitiveness in the global economy.

"We also recognise it is vital for girls to know that they can succeed in fields traditionally thought to be only for men.  This programme will let the girls see that their future career opportunities are endless in science, technology, engineering and math in our ever changing world.”

Professor Ana Ivanovic of the University of Aberdeen said: “I believe that the next generation of female engineers has an important role to play in using their creative and team-working skills to change perceptions of the industry.”

To apply for a place at the conference, please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/engineering/events/12427