GIRLS from schools across Portsmouth have spent a day at the city’s university in a bid to inspire them to take more science subjects.
The one-off event was held for Year 9 girls from Mayfield, Cowplain, Admiral Lord Nelson, City Girls, King Richard and Miltoncross schools.
It was held to encourage more girls to take on the so-called Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.
There were activities in civil engineering, forensic computing and product design, run by academic staff from the university.
The UK has the lowest percentage of women in engineering with just 12 per cent of girls taking engineering degrees.
Lynsey Plockyn is a senior lecturer at the school of engineering.
She ran a product design session where girls were shown how to make their own model cars and test them out in time trials.
She said: ‘We want to promote that this is a good profession for girls to go into.
‘It’s important that we get them interested.
‘We try to attract youngsters at key ages in their school progression.
‘It’s been an enjoyable experience and I hope it’s been an eye-opener about the jobs that are available for girls in engineering and the types of salaries that they can achieve.’
Emily Challen, 14, is in Year 9 at Mayfield School.
She said: ‘It was really good fun. It was fun to play with the cars and mess around and then when problems came along it was fun to solve them.
‘It was really good fun to look at what other teams had done.’
And Emily said taking part in yesterday’s event has heightened her interest in studying Stem subjects.
‘They are a lot more fun than I thought they were going to be,’ she said.
‘It turned out to be a really good day.
‘Now I’m looking at doing science and engineering in college.’
Year 9 pupil at Miltoncross School Cameron Townsley, 14, said: ‘I think it’s been quite good. It’s nice to be able to see the different sides of engineering and different subjects.’
Ruby Taylor, 21, has just finished her degree in product design and innovation at the university.
She was one of just two girls on her course.
She said: ‘I enjoyed it throughout the whole of school. I like the fact that it was scientific as well. It was a challenge for me.
‘It’s something that’s fun. I always help out at girls’ events. I like to encourage girls to do similar subjects to this.’