Over 250 pupils from 44 primary school across Staffordshire and Derbyshire came to The JCB Academy over four days in June to participate in a variety of fun, informative and interactive challenges as part of the academy’s annual ‘Women into Engineering’ event. The event is part of ‘Women into Engineering’, a UK initiative to raise the profile of women in engineering and the career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. Mr Caine, Marketing and PR Manager at The JCB Academy, said, “The event gives us a great opportunity to explain what engineering actually is and to break the stigma that it’s only about getting your hands dirty and fixing engines.”
The event consists of an informative session followed by two engineering-based challenges: the egg crash challenge and spaghetti towers. The firm favourite seems to be the egg crash, where the girls design a protective enclosure to secure an egg using a range of craft material. The enclosure needs to be secured to a physics dynamic cart which is then released down a ramp, crashing into a wall. Mr Caine said, “Having spent 30 minutes designing their protective enclosure and decorating and personalising their egg with a smiley face, the girls get very anxious when their cart is suspended at the top of the ramp ready for the drop and crash into the wall. The atmosphere is fantastic.”
The event is facilitated by The JCB Academy and assisted by their Y10 and Y12 learners and female engineers from Bentley Motors, Network Rail, KMF Precision Sheet Metal, Derby University and JCB. The female engineers, some former learners of the academy, introduce themselves and explain what their job entails and the pathway they took in education to get there. The female engineers then help out with the two main activities and answers questions at the end of each session during the questions and answers time.
The event is sponsored by some of the academy’s partners; JCB supplies each girl with a goodie-bag consisting of branded stationery and a cap. This is accompanied by a steel prefabricated flower from KMF Precision Sheet Metal and engineering literature from The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). Other partners include Derby University of Derby, Loughborough University and The IET who financially sponsor the event enabling the event to be a cost-free day for all of the 44 schools taking part.
Photos are available via Google photos at https://photos.app.goo.gl/g6XrT4yKNbbKsgcs5