EDF Energy is supporting a group of 25 school girls from Suffolk who have taken up a challenge set by the Engineering Development Trust to reduce energy usage at school.
Schools from Lowestoft, Ipswich, Leiston and Beccles are taking part in the project to inspire girls to study science and increase the connection between their studies and potential future careers.
The launch event was held at the Sizewell B visitor centre where the girls got to meet engineering apprentices from the power station. The Sizewell B apprentices will mentor the 13-14 year old girls throughout the 10 week project and provide advice and guidance as they develop their ideas on how they could cut down on energy use at their school.
Allison Copeman, Careers & Aspirations Manager at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles said: “The girls involved in this project also attended EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious STEM workshops and have shown a real enthusiasm for science related studies and it is great that we have another industry event our students can get involved with to harness this enthusiasm.”
Madison Levett, Year 9 student at Sir John Leman High School, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to have hands-on involvement in a project that not only benefits the school but also challenges my perceptions of careers based around science.”
Niki Rousseau, Community Relations, Sizewell B, said: “EDF Energy’s work with the Engineering Development Trust gives us another opportunity to promote the study of STEM which is so crucial to the nuclear industry. I am delighted that Suffolk schools have taken up this opportunity and hope it helps to change the perception of STEM subjects.”
The launch event at Sizewell B follows a new report published by the Social Market Foundation which found that science and tech jobs will grow twice as fast as other occupations.
The study; ‘Jobs of the Future’, released on 18 January reveals that science, research, engineering and technology jobs will grow at double the rate of other occupations creating 142,000 extra jobs between now and 2023. This is the year girls, such as those involved in the energy saving project for schools in Suffolk, currently choosing their GCSEs are expected to start entering the workplace.
The study from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) was commissioned by EDF Energy, as part of its “Pretty Curious” programme to inspire more girls to consider science and technology careers.
EDF Energy has good links with schools in the region and hosted a series of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workshops for 400 12-13-year-old girls at Trinity Park in Ipswich in November as part of a drive to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM.
The pace of digital innovation and scale of UK infrastructure investment means that there are huge opportunities for careers in STEM subjects. However, just one in five people working in STEM today in the UK is a woman and the number of young women studying these subjects at further education remains consistently below boys.