19 May 16

Sizewell B encourages girls to 'be your selfie' and not rule science out

A group of Suffolk schoolgirls have taken part in a national workshop called ‘People like me’ which has been designed to encourage more females into science.

The 11-14year old science students from Saint Felix School in Southwold took part in the workshop today at the Sizewell B visitor centre.   

EDF Energy held the workshop as the company relies on a talented STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) workforce to run its power stations and wants to inspire more girls to think about studying in this area and consider a future career in this field.

Sarah Osborne from the Sizewell B visitor centre said: “The pilot workshop with Saint Felix went very well and we are looking at rolling it out for other schools in the near future.  We are always looking for ways that we can inspire girls to think about carrying on with science related studies when they get to the point of choosing their GCSEs.”

Melanie Westlake, Key Stage 3 Science Teacher for Saint Felix School, said: “The workshop at Sizewell B really helped the students identify their range of skills and be creative in science.”

The special event was developed by WISE, a national organisation campaigning to encourage more females into STEM subjects.  

The session was designed to encourage the girls to think about their aptitudes and personality type and their preferred ways of working.  They then explored a range of roles which ‘people like me’ are successful and happy in.  They were able to draw inspiration from case studies of successful female engineers and scientists at Sizewell B.

WISE Chief Executive, Helen Wollaston, said:“This is a great example of industry working with schools to show girls the fantastic opportunities available in STEM."

This event was well timed as EDF Energy also celebrates Diversity & Inclusion this week. With events across the company marking how a diverse and inclusive workforce leads to innovative ideas, better decision making, increased productivity, greater efficiency and improved well-being of all employees.

People Like Me has been developed by WISE to help show girls that people like them find jobs they love using science and maths. The aim is to encourage more girls to stick with science and/or maths post 16. Before completing the workshop Sizewell B STEM ambassadors carried out a WISE training session organised by Connect Education and Business,  a charity that works in partnership with business, education and public sector leaders to ensure young people have access to high quality work related learning experiences at critical stages in their education.

EDF Energy is proud to be a member of WISE as the organisation shares the same ethos as us which is to inspire girls and women to study and build careers using science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Last year, EDF Energy launched #PrettyCurious, a long term programme to encourage more teenage girls to study STEM. The programme aims to give girls hands-on experiences and provide them with opportunities to learn about the wide range of careers available in STEM.

WISE was established in 1984 following the Finniston Report on the future of engineering in the UK. The report emphasised the need for a broad talent pool of scientists and engineers. Since then it has helped a huge number of individuals, organisations and businesses, and contributed to a wide range of campaigns to raise the profile of women and girls in STEM.

EDF Energy in the East of England

In the East of England EDF Energy operates Sizewell B power station which employs 575 staff and 250 contracting partners. EDF Energy has completed Stage One consultation for Sizewell C which would be capable of supplying power to some 5 million homes and would employ 900 staff when operational.
As well as generating enough power to serve some 2.5million homes the company also provides gas and electricity to 270,000 customers in this region with over half of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation. We make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use. EDF Energy is proud to power up some of the largest companies in the UK, including sites for Tesco Stores Limited, Ministry of Defence, Morrisons and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust right here in the East of England. Following a landmark agreement with Network Rail the company also provides nuclear-backed Blue energy to power up the UKs electric rail network, covering most of the south east of England and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.