THE 1851 Trust is hoping to inspire the next generation of female engineers after the launch of its Maritime Roadshow for girls.
The Portsmouth based charity held the first event at the INEOS Team UK headquarters where 120 girls from across the county experienced a day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) learning. Hosted at the team’s Tech Deck, the pupils, aged 11 to 14, had the opportunity to complete a range of interactive tasks based around sailing.
Lavin Abdulkarin, 12, who attends Milton Cross Academy, said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed today, it has been really interesting. I really enjoyed meeting the female role models and now have a better idea of what I want to do in the future.’
Lavin’s teacher, Helen King, added: ‘Days like today are really important as getting girls into STEM is really key. The hands-on activities were really great and I think it was really important to have role models here for the girls to interact with.’
A recent Maritime Skills Alliance report revealed that women currently make up just 21 per cent of serving seafarers in the UK and 22 per cent of the STEM based workforce. Organisers hope the event will help to redress the balance by encouraging more girls to opt for STEM subjects and consider a career in the maritime sector.
One of the event’s role models, BAE Systems maintenance engineer, Rachel Barrett, commented: ‘We have been showing girls the different personality types that there are and the skills which are there for STEM careers. What I have seen today has been amazing, the girls have been really engaged. These events give them insights into what job opportunities there are out there – most of which they didn’t know about.’