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Girl Power: STEM Solutions Towards a Sustainable World conference

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Fourteen Long Road students attended a conference organised by St. Mary’s School Cambridge and aimed at young women interested in studying and/ or working in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The conference consisted of talks and break-out sessions led by eminent women scientists and aimed to show young women the range of different careers on offer.

The day started with a talk Can Science solve the world’s problems? by Dame Barbara Stocking, DBE, and President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.
Dr Nadine Johnston, Marine Ecologist, Ecosystems Team, British Antarctic Survey, then spoke on Ecosystems Research in Antarctica: Understanding the impacts of global climate-driven change and commercial fishing on polar marine ecosystems.

A panel of women scientists and engineers then gave brief outlines of their very diverse career paths in STEM careers.

After lunch there was a fascinating range of break-out sessions:
1. eScent® Sensory Design: An Empowering and Enabling Platform Technology for Wellbeing and Fashion Applications –  led by Dr Jenny Tillotson FRSA and Founder eScent®.
2.  Shelter For the World – led by Philippa Jefferis – civil engineer at iMC
3. Water for Everyone Everywhere –  led by Aimi Elias – civil engineer.
4. Applying the Sustainable Development Goals led by engineers from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
5. Wearables for Good – led by Ali Stripling and colleagues from ARM.
6. Career Chats – women scientists and engineers from various companies including ARM, National Space Academy, Atkins and the A14 Project offered an excellent opportunity to discuss career pathways in science.

There was a further talk: Engineering for Our Developing World by Yewande Akinola, Design Engineer, Global EMIT Project.

Dr Andrew Spencer, Admissions Tutor, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge then spoke about university applications: Aiming high – your expectations and ours

Final reflections were provided by Charlotte Avery – Headmistress at St Mary’s School, Cambridge.

Connie Snow says: “The day showed me that there are multiple routes  into STEM careers. I think it’s important to encourage girls to explore STEM subjects and inspire and guide their building ambitions. Events such as this nurture their passions so that they believe in themselves and their dreams. My favourite talk was the marine biologist’s.”

Saffron Anderton says: “I really enjoyed the event. I was always considering a career in STEM, and it was wonderful to get some insights into the range of things I could do, I particularly talking to the general manager of the National Space Centre, as this is something I wanted to do in the future and I needed some help as to what I could do for it. In general, it was a great event and very influential for the young women that came.”

Paul Andrew, Biology course team leader at Long Road, concludes: “This is the second time our students have attended this excellent conference, and it was wonderful to see that so man y of our students wanted to take part. To be able to meet so many successful women in STEM careers all in one day was a truly outstanding opportunity for our students. I am extremely grateful to St Mary’s for organising this outstanding event.”

Main photo, clockwise from top: Alicia Williams, Ruby Platt, Shauna Denston, Yma Tyrrell, Izabella Bonifacio, Rane Blue, Sophie Forbes, Saffron Anderton, Lizzie Cornell-Jones, Catriona Adshead, Sabrina Mitchell, Jullienne Badilla, Emily Clements and Connie Snow.