EEE Department helps to inspire future engineers at university-wide Exploring STEM event
The below blog post was written by Qingru (Ellen) Jia (Final year BA International Relations and Politics student, University of Sheffield) who is currently completing an internship as Gender Equality and Communications Assistant for the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
On the 4th May 2023, approximately 300 year 9-10 students from local secondary schools accompanied by school staff visited The Octagon Centre for the Exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) exhibition on Thursday 4th May. The exhibition is composed of 15 departments from subjects like Physics, Math and Chemistry to a wide range of engineering subjects such as Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering to showcase different STEM degrees for Sheffield secondary school students who identify as female, trans and non-binary.
The event aims to encourage students from non-traditional backgrounds to have a passion for STEM subjects from an early age, break stereotypes and help outline the importance of the relevance of STEM subjects in daily life. It is also an opportunity for teachers to understand the diverse possibilities of STEM subjects and support their students who are interested in STEM. The University is committed to improving gender equality in STEM subjects and creating a more diverse and inclusive study and working environment.
Throughout the event, the school pupils visiting the stand for the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering had the opportunity to try out a thermal camera and complete the buzz wire challenge, as well as experimenting with our amazing line following robots. Elsewhere, students had the chance to understand the food manufacturing process through an adventure in candy floss production from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and to check out the Formula Student Car exhibition. These stands were present alongside activities and showcases on subjects such as aerospace engineering, computer science and psychology. Societies like BAME in Engineering, Women in STEM and Engineers without Borders were there to share their experiences in STEM and encourage pupils from underrepresented backgrounds to explore STEM subjects.
Information tables like Discover Programme, Year in Industry and Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS) were also there to support students in learning about the the services available at the University. Students were able to speak to current university students and staff about their degrees, experiences and the application of STEM subjects such as in the Formula Student Car and Lego wind turbines and have an idea of STEM subjects in the future. Students were excited to discover different STEM subjects, and one pupil told us that: “I had an idea of what I wanted to study before, but now there are too many interesting options!”.
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