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Eye-opening talk by young woman engineer

Young Bristol engineer Kate Mactear visited our Junior School to promote greater involvement in engineering by girls and women.

Kate’s mission, as part of the Women in Engineering Society’s Young Members’ Board, is to get girls at a younger age interested in the subject.

The 25-year-old, who is currently studying for a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Bristol, says she is determined to change the stereotypical image of an engineer.

“It’s time we moved on from the idea of a man wearing a hard hat,” she said.

“Girls need to see more women working in engineering so that they realise it could be a career for them.”

Her visit began by leading an assembly for all year groups when she tested the girls' understanding of how  various strands of engineering impact on our daily lives.  She then described how she had considered training to be a doctor but decided to focus on biomedical engineering where she can still directly improve people's lives.

She explained how while an undergraduate she had been involved in helping to design the Great British team's track bikes before the Rio Olympics, and later, at BAE Systems, she worked on the design of the skeleton sled before the Winter Olympics.

Kate then lead a hands-on engineering workshop for a group of 30 girls from Years 3 to 6, with a brief  to build a 60cm-long, biomedical-style helping-hand device made from everyday items such as cardboard, rubber bands, sponges and clips.

Headteacher Lisa Brown said: “Kate met with a very enthusiastic welcome from our pupils as they are already very aware and adept in robotics, science and other STEM-related subjects.

“She really opened our eyes today to the vast breadth of the engineering industry and inspired the girls in relation to the future roles that they can consider for themselves.

"It was great to hear from someone with such exciting work experience at such a young age. The girls threw themselves into the workshop and produced some really creative concepts in response to the brief."

Kate’s excellent role modelling also extended to the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for physical and mental well-being, having represented Great Britain in European triathlons and winning gold in 2017.

Mrs Brown continued: “Kate’s success at work and as an athlete complement each other and demonstrate perfectly what we mean by maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”


Date Posted: 26 October 2018
Junior STEM The World Beyond

Articles for: Junior, STEM, The World Beyond

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Redmaids' High 
Junior School

0117 962 9451

Grange Court Road
Bristol BS9 4DP

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