Star’s female engineers visit local primary school ahead of international women in engineering day 2017

  • The class of 9-11 year olds

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Astrid Prado

Marketing Manager

Star Refrigeration and Neilston’s St Thomas Primary School children celebrated International Women in Engineering Day yesterday, to support International Women in Engineering Day, which takes place worldwide on 23rd June. 

Star Refrigeration has joined efforts with St Thomas’ Primary School  in Neilston to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day and encourage children aged from 9-11 to consider an exciting career in engineering. On 13th June, an event held in the school auditorium celebrated female engineers and gave an insight into the daily work life, so youngsters understand what a career in engineering entails.

In light of a nationwide push to encourage girls into STEM subjects and plug the skills gap in engineering, Headmaster of St Thomas’ School, Brendan Docherty, said “I am keen to be involved in initiatives that support the development of our children as we are aiming to drive forward STEM across the school.”

The presentation took place at 10 am and saw three of Star’s female engineers share their stories about how they entered the industry from different paths and the kind of different roles they do. The event reached over 50 children, and each was given the official T-shirt issued by The Women in Engineering Society to commemorate International Women in Engineering Day on 23rd June.

Children at the event heard some of the reasons why they should choose a career in engineering. Claire Syme, Design Engineering at Star Refrigeration referred to the fact that engineers tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. “You could help fight climate change by designing environmentally friendly engineering solutions to improve our lives. You could join a team that designs driverless vehicles. You could work with materials and chemicals to design sports clothing, and even design robots to do your housework chores. Engineering and technology is found in practically every industry- whatever you’re into, there are lots of engineering opportunities to choose from”, Syme said.

Currently, only 9% of the UK engineering workforce is female according to research by The Institution of Engineering and Technology. There are still cultural and societal barriers preventing women from entering the engineering industry. There are misconceptions about what being an engineer actually involves, and the ability required to undertake an engineering degree. A lack of knowledge about the different types of engineering careers can make girls think it is too difficult or not creative and attractive enough to pursue.

Ann Flanagan, a consultant engineer from Star who took part in the local school event said, “We hope to change perceptions amongst children, especially girls, by showing them how diverse and creative engineering jobs can be and that’s why we brought to life stories of working female engineers. Most youngsters are unaware of the crucial role refrigeration plays in our everyday lives.  Food and beverages production, the data centres necessary for social media and the internet, medicines production to cure illnesses and leisure activities including ice skating and curling, all require some form of mechanical cooling!”

“The kids are now more interested in the diversity of options in the engineering industry and hopefully inspired by our individual stories”.

International Women in Engineering Day is held annually on 23rd June to celebrate women’s achievements in the industry and encourage more girls to pursue an engineering career. Last year over 550 events were held on the day to recognise the occasion, and 350 UK schools got involved.

For more information about International Women in Engineering Day and to get involve, visit http://www.inwed.org.uk/

To find out more about how Star Refrigeration is inspiring youngsters to get into engineering, and to listen to what St Thomas’ Primary School children had to say, visit /smart-thinking/star-refrigeration-inspires-youngsters-at-local-primary-school-for-international-women-in-engineering-day.aspx