On Tuesday 23rd June, 23 Year 10 girls travelled to Birchwood Park to visit the engineering company, AMEC Foster Wheeler. On arrival, we met several directors of different sectors and were fully kitted out with an array of protective clothing. After splitting off into groups, we toured around their buildings on site and took part in several different activities with engineers and apprentices from the company.

We learned about many different aspects of the company including reactor maintenance and weathering, radiation and wind turbine stability as well as vital communication skills. The day was very ‘hands-on’ and we were fortunate enough to be able to partake in handling equipment, testing sodium levels on surfaces and many other exercises. It was also good fun getting to drive the purpose-built robots used in the industry.

The aim of the day was to encourage women to go into engineering and the experience certainly opened our eyes to many different STEM careers. Before going, a lot of us thought that, to be an engineer, you had to be practical and physically make things. However, we’ve learned this isn’t necessarily the case and there are just as many careers in laboratories and offices as there are in warehouses and workshops. A major highlight of the day had to be hearing about people’s routes into the company and realising that it’s not that difficult if you work hard.

Ellie Vallance and Davina Mellows 10I