The event, hosted by the School and College Liaison team, saw students attend a variety of academic talks and workshops that aimed to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
This is the second year Loughborough has held a ‘Year 10 Girls into STEM’ residential and both events have been supported by the Ford Fund – a non-profit organisation and the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company.
This year’s four-day course – which ran from 10-13 July – saw students learn about solar cars, fuel cells, energy, designing shelters and more.
They used the information they gained to develop a proposal for a sustainable island community for the future and on the final day of the event they presented their ideas to a team of judges from Ford and the Ford Fund.
During their visit, the girls stayed in the halls of residence on campus and also took part in a range of activities to give them a flavour of what life might be like at a university.
The free-to-attend residential is open to schools from all over the UK and this year students represented:
- Vandyke Upper School, Bedfordshire
- Barr Beacon School, Birmingham
- Priory Academy, Lincolnshire
- Landau Forte College, Derbyshire
- City of Derby Academy, Derbyshire
- Cornelius Vermuyden School, Essex
- Lutterworth High School, Leicestershire
As well as developing their interest in STEM, the initiative also aimed to help the youngsters develop a range of key skills that are critical for their future such as team-working, problem-solving and analytical and presentational skills.
Commenting on their experience, one student said: “It’s opened my eyes to the variety of careers available within technology that I never knew existed and has made me question my future plans.”
Loughborough University’s Senior Student Recruitment Officer Lisa Ambler said it was a “privilege” to work with the girls.
She said: “They took advantage of every opportunity offered to them and were a delight to have on campus.”
Debbie Chennells, Ford Fund Manager, visited the students during the residential and was pleased to see how engaged the youngsters were.
She said: "I was delighted to see the passion, creativity and teamwork demonstrated by the students that attended the four-day residential STEM programme.
“They really enjoyed the challenge that was set and came up with some wonderful and innovative ideas for their sustainable communities for the future.
“Our aim was to give the students a glimpse of the breadth of opportunities that exist in the area of science, technology, engineering and maths and an exciting insight into what the future could hold for them."