Women into Construction & Engineering

Every year, as part of the Challenge for Women programme, the College welcomes pupils from local secondary schools to explore Construction and Engineering in a fun and interactive way. February saw visits from five school groups at our Bridgwater and Taunton campuses.

2 February 2018

The Bridgwater Campus welcomed Year 9 pupils from Robert Blake and Worle Community School for their second visit as part of the College’s Challenge for Women Programme. As part of an effort to get more women into the construction and engineering industries, the girls explored the Energy Skills Centre and Advanced Engineering Centre, before undertaking a day of engineering based activities.

Pupils got the opportunity to create their own lamps in the workshops in the Energy Skills Centre, soldering together fine elements and manipulating acrylic in order to complete their final products to take home. In the Advanced Engineering Centre, they were introduced to the virtual reality headset used by the National College for Nuclear to train the nuclear engineers of the future. As well as firefighting within the realms of VR, pupils traversed the universe and explored 3D models of nuclear power stations through augmented reality. 

It’s always a pleasure to see pupils exploring new opportunities, coming away having successfully used new skills to create products and enthused about industries they hadn’t previously considered. The College is looking forward to welcoming back these girls for another day of challenge and adventure in May!

23 February 2018

Later in the month, the Taunton Campus welcomed back pupils in Year 10 from Haygrove, Broadoak and Worle who had taken part in the Challenge for Women programme in Year 9. Having been to the Bridgwater site last year, pupils enjoyed exploring a new area of the College they had never seen before. Here, they were based in the Industry Skills Centre where they delved into the world of construction.

Spending the day working with wood the girls sawed, chiselled and drilled to create two products to take away and show off to their friends and family. They were introduced to one of the oldest and most functional joints in carpentry, the mortise and tenon as they got to grips with chisels and coping saws to create a door hook. As well as their door hooks, the girls’ accuracy of measuring and handiness with a saw, drill and screws were tested as they created their own bird boxes. The quality of the work produced by the pupils was wonderful, with everyone getting involved and giving it their all.

The College and pupils are equally excited to see what their last visit has in store in May. Having now explored engineering in Bridgwater and construction in Taunton the girls will be going out to Cannington to the Construction Skills and Innovation Centre (CSIC) to meet some inspiring women working within the construction industry, as well as getting to grips with some much bigger machinery.

The continued enthusiasm shown by these girls to explore construction and engineering at the College is a testament to the Challenge for Women programme’s success, and the staff dedicated to providing the best opportunities to all students.