3DPrintWorks Supports SmartSTEMS Girls In Education

On June 6th my colleague Yoana Rachovska and I went to support SmartSTEMS hub event at Glasgow Caledonian University, a bold initiative that aims to get more girls involved in traditionally male-dominated industries such as Engineering, Forestry and IT.

We lead pupils from Sunnyside Primary around various workshops throughout the day. Here we are just before everything kicked off:

Myself and Yoana with the pupils from Sunnyside Primary School

Prior to the workshops there were two fantastic speakers: Eve Muirhead, the curling champion and captain of the GB team, and Vicky Hamilton, founder of Recoil Kneepads. Both women encouraged all the girls in the audience to pursue a career in STEM if that is their passion – and to never let anyone or anything get in their way. The main takeaway from both talks was that STEM is not just for boys, but for everyone that is inspired by it.

Workshop One – Design a 3D Game  

In the first workshop, our class was introduced to 3D game design. As a group, they were asked to pick a subject and design a game for it. They chose Maths and created characters shaped like the ÷ and + symbols. They even made them talk, using a software called Scratch. We were very impressed!

3D Design it becoming a great career option. Check out our interview with Scott McLellan, a 3D game designer we regularly work with.

Lunch And Browsing Exhibition Workshops

Sunnyside Primary Pupils

Everyone attending the event received lunch. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to browse more exhibition stalls, including Dalriada Games and the Forestry Commission. There were lots of virtual reality headsets on offer, which the pupils loved experimenting with. One of our pupils described the experience as ‘scary’ because she really felt like she was flying over open water when she tried to Royal Navy headset.

We also met the wonderful team at Beyonder, who do ethical small batch manufacturing work. They hosted a workshop on STEM in fashion, an industry we are very interested in here at 3DPrintWorks!

Workshop Two – Build A Marshmallow Tower

The second workshop was the most challenging of all. The Sunnyside group were given the challenge of building a tall tower out of a limited amount of spaghetti, string, sellotape and one marshmallow. The girls tried really hard to build a strong structure, using the Eiffel Tower as their inspiration (how clever is that?!), but unfortunately it tumbled!

As they say, if at first you don’t succeed, you must try, try again. Better luck next time girls!

Workshop Three – Cyber Security – Be Aware!

This was a fantastic talk given by two staff members at the Clydesdale Bank. They talked about cyber security and what it takes to become a cyber detective or analyst! We were all taught the importance of creating really strong passwords and safeguarding against hacking.

The girls found this workshop really engaging and kept the workshop facilitators on their toes by asking lots of questions!

Wrapping up

Within our group of P6 and P7 level girls, we had a budding lawyer, a writer and a potential policewoman. The others weren’t sure what they wanted to do, a sentiment shared by the vast majority of pupils their age. Hopefully SmartSTEMS event gave them food for thought and some ideas for what might interest them more as they progress through school.

As for us we are keen to get involved in another event in the near future…

SmartSTEMS girls