Wednesday 27th January saw more than 200 students and parents receive invaluable advice and inspiration from some of the world’s leading companies about careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics sectors at Thornton College’s inaugural STEM evening.
The event was attended by 15 world-renowned companies, among them Unilever, Nissan, Network Rail, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens, Aon Hewitt and Sir Robert McAlpine.
There was a great buzz to the evening as senior school students and their parents from both within and outside the school were invited to talk to exhibitors face-to-face for advice on work experience, apprenticeships and the variety of career pathways open to them in this modern world.
Thornton College is on track to become a Centre of Excellence in STEM. One of its STEM coordinators, Mrs Scott, said: ‘This was a great chance to build a portfolio of contacts for work experience, which is so valued by today’s employers.’
The audience also heard an inspirational keynote speech from award-winning architect Angela Brady, OBE, talking about what it’s like to have a career in architecture. ‘Only 22 per cent of architects are women, but it is increasing,’ she noted, ‘and architecture is now very much a profession for women.’
Thornton College head girl Tilly Flynn said of the event:
“We were told about how more females are wanted in these businesses, for the creativity and design but also for the technology and engineering. I was shocked at how few females are involved in some of these organisations – currently STEM seems to be a very male-dominated area.”
“Therefore, many companies are keen to inspire young women to consider STEM jobs and we were very happy to receive information about work experience and summer placements. I am hoping to use these contacts to secure work experience for the future. I definitely came away with much more knowledge than I went with.”
Exhibitors were equally delighted with the response. Laserlines Technical Sales Engineer Jane Gibbons said: ‘This sort of event gives school leavers a head start. If I’ve motivated at least one girl to get more involved in engineering I’ll be happy.’