Girls get a chance to 'Discover Science'

Tracking down Rhino DNA, creating electronic clubwear or going through high security check-ins at a Nuclear Power station isn’t usually how 14-year- old girls spend their Saturday mornings.  

However, the Discover Science Saturday Club for Girls -  a joint project between Bangor University and Careers Wales - saw 12 youngsters from local schools spending their Saturdays finding out more about science, engineering and technology in an informative and fun environment.

Earlier in the summer term, the Year 9 pupils from Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen (Caernarfon), Ysgol David Hughes (Menai Bridge), Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen (Bethesda) and Ysgol Tryfan (Bangor) spent  their Saturdays visiting the University for various workshops. The aim was to introduce the girls to subjects and experiences aimed at encouraging them to consider continuing with STEM subjects after their GCSEs.  

The workshops held at Bangor University included:  Light up your life with electronic fashion (School of Electronic Engineering); Insects and Plants – the greatest love-hate relationship the planet?  (School of Biological Sciences); Shells:  beautiful jewellery or amazing animals? (School of Ocean Sciences);  A Wild Life Crime Who-dunnit? (School of Biological Sciences); and It’s war on the rocky shore! (School of Ocean Sciences).

The final day was held at Wylfa Nuclear Power Station. Hosted by Magnox Ltd, the day included a site tour, a talk from two female physicists working at the station, as well as building reconstructions of the two bridges over the Menai Straits in an activity led by the Thomas Telford Centre.

“Bangor University was very pleased to run workshops for the first ever Discover Science programme in North West Wales,” said Carys Roberts, Head of Recruitment and Marketing at Bangor University. “The girls who took part had a range of different experiences which hopefully showed them the range of courses and careers that exist within science.  

“Many thanks to the University staff and students who gave their time to run the Saturday workshops, which were all a big success according to the feedback received. We’re also grateful to Careers Wales for their support and co-operation in ensuring that the programme was a success.”
Claire Burgess, Professional Development Co-ordinator at Careers Wales North West said “The girls were a little quiet at first but soon gelled and really got involved in the activities.  Although some of them had career ideas before they joined the club , they all went away with new and different ideas for the future. We’re so pleased that the University took the initiative to run the programme – the first in North Wales. We also have to thank Magnox Ltd and Thomas Telford Centre for providing the employer input for the final day.”

Publication date: 2 August 2011