Diary of a Trainee Electronics Engineer: June 2016Follow article
Celebrating National Women in Engineering Day and becoming a STEM Ambassador!
Hosted annually on June 23rd, National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) is now an international awareness campaign, which sets out to focus attention on and raise the profile of exciting career opportunities which are available to women in the engineering industry. This was first developed by WES (Women’s Engineering Society) to celebrate their 95th anniversary in 2014.
Image Source: http://www.nwed.org.uk/
For the 3rd NWED, thousands of women across the globe came together on social media to celebrate fantastic achievements and opportunities. Every year NWED sees more and more female engineers sharing their accomplishments and working towards challenging the stereotype that engineering is a 'man's world'. On this day there are women from many different engineering backgrounds including: mechanical, chemical, thermal, clinical, electrical and electronic, and structural – the list is ongoing.
Image Source: Youtube
To celebrate NWED 2016 I took part in the RS Voices: Women in Engineering video filming earlier in the month, which was then released on June 23rd. I travelled down to London for the day, where I met the film crew and interviewer from RS components at Fab Lab London. I love taking part in events such as this, especially when you get the opportunity to meet and interact with other engineers, such as Dr. Lucy Rogers and Zixuan Wang, as well as data scientists like Ruby Childs!
I couldn't be happier with the finished result and I don't think there’s a better way to celebrate NWED taking a look at the journey which women in the industry have taken.
June 23rd seemed to have a lot going on this year, not only was it National Women in Engineering Day, but this also coincided with the referendum. Here at AB Open we were also visited by RS Components, to do some filming with my colleagues and I.
Becoming a STEM Ambassador
Since I began running an annual soldering workshop at Wuthering Bytes technology festival I’ve really enjoyed helping others try to learn new skills. I've been meaning to sign up as a STEM Ambassador for a while. With it being the month of NWED I thought it seemed like the perfect time to do this. I'm currently in the process of enrolling and have an induction session late July.
A STEM Ambassador is someone who is enthusiastic and committed to encouraging young people to choose a career in any of the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering or maths – by providing an insight into the possibilities these enable. Helping teachers also plays a big role in being a STEM ambassador, explaining current technologies and applications of STEM. It also helps develop the skills and confidence of the ambassador.
STEM Ambassadors frequently get involved in a diverse range of activities, whilst receiving support and training from STEMNET to foster understanding and enjoyment of these subjects. Here are just some of the activities I may become involved with as a STEM Ambassador;
- Providing technical advice or practical support to STEM projects in the classroom.
- Supporting projects in after-school STEM Clubs.
- Judging school STEM competitions.
- Networking with pupils, parents and teachers.
- Devising or delivering practical STEM experiments or demonstrations.
- Helping students with mock job interviews.
- Giving careers talks or helping at careers fairs.
- Introducing kids to technologies which I have used and show them how to start out small.
One of the big factors that made me want to become a STEM Ambassador is that personally I don't feel there is enough advice for young people on what career paths are out there in STEM subjects; there definitely wasn't when I left high school four years ago. So to be involved in introducing young people to these kinds of subjects and showing them things which the STEM industries have to offer, would be incredibly satisfying.
Dabbling with Digital Design
One project which I worked on this month was Learning about Digital Design. Here I looked at the fundamentals of digital design from logic gates to Karnaugh maps and boolean expressions. I plan to build on my knowledge of digital design more over the summer and want to look at using a simulation tool and hardware description language.
I can't wait to complete my STEM Ambassador induction and start getting more involved in encouraging young people with STEM activities.