University of Sheffield inspires schoolgirls through STEM

University of Sheffield inspires schoolgirls through STEM

 December 10, 2019

More than 100 pupils from across the Sheffield region in the UK now understand the huge potential of a career in engineering thanks to the University of Sheffield.

Through the #AMRCtribe campaign run by the university's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), pupils from schools in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley were invited to the AMRC as part of the programme which aims to inspire young girls to pursue a STEM careers.

Supportive STEM network for teens

Attracting more women into engineering is one of the most serious challenges facing the industry. A large part of #AMRCtribe is to create a supportive network for teenagers to talk openly about their interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and STEM-related careers. A social media group provides a safe environment for young women to talk in confidence to like-minded peers who may attend different schools.

“We want to connect young girls from the Sheffield City Region so they feel they’re not isolated. Often they can be the only one in their friendship group that is interested in engineering, but with #AMRCtribe they can meet other people who have similar interests and it might empower them to pursue that career," said Ami Swales, the AMRC’s STEM and Outreach Coordinator,

“We invited five schools to this event and each has had tours of the AMRC Training Centre, the Design and Prototyping Centre, Factory of the Future, Nuclear AMRC and our Manufacturing Transporter (MANTRA).”

Following the tours the teenagers were set an engineering group activity, working in teams to build a model Ferris wheel using little more than paper, masking tape, string and bolts. Speakers at the event included Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Mark Wrigley, and second year apprentice machinist at Boeing Sheffield, Rosie Davies.

Excellent feedback from students

"I think #AMRCtribe is such a good initiative because some women feel intimidated going into such a male-dominated industry. Having the tribe means there is support there and it gives us women a chance to meet others doing the same thing," says Asha Spruce, aged 16, from UTC Sheffield. “Hearing from people like Rosie and seeing other female engineers working on the shop floor really inspires me – it shows that it can be done.”

“Seeing the Digital Operating Theatre in the Design and Prototyping Centre was so impressive, I have never seen anything like that before – it was the best part of the tour. I knew I wanted to be an engineer before coming to the AMRC but until I saw the Digital Operating Theatre, I didn’t know medical engineering was an option," she added.

Further events for the future

#AMRCtribe will continue, with further events for schools at the AMRC and STEM-inspired social events for those girls who are involved in the social media group.

“It is wonderful to show these girls things like the Digital Operating Theatre, Nuclear AMRC and Virtual Reality because that isn’t what they would be able to access on a normal day at school,” said Ami. “A lot of girls do come to us with the mindset that STEM isn’t for them. We want to challenge stereotypes and show the girls that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.”

Learn more about the AMRC’s STEM and Outreach team.

AMRC: a world-class research centre

The AMRC is a world-class centre for research into advanced manufacturing technologies used in the aerospace, automotive, medical and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

It has a global reputation for helping companies overcome manufacturing problems and is a model for collaborative research involving universities, academics and industry worldwide.

Combining state of the art technologies with the AMRC’s expertise in design and prototyping, machining, casting, welding, additive manufacturing, composites, robotics and automation, digital manufacturing and structural testing, has created a manufacturing resource far beyond anything previously available in the UK.

The AMRC is a member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a consortium of leading manufacturing and process research centres, backed by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Join women working at the University of Sheffield

As a world-ranking university, the University of Sheffield has excellent career opportunities available across many departments and research centres.

Search and apply today and see where will your higher education career might take you.


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