Bright young sparks are getting an insight into the world of engineering as part of an innovative scheme to encourage more girls to set their sights on future careers in the sector.
NETA Training has joined forces with Preston Primary School in Eaglescliffe to offer Year 6 pupils an early introduction to careers in the industry.
The unique collaboration has already seen the budding engineers have a go at some practical skills in the workshop.
“They did really well,” said mechanical engineering student, Hannah Mills, 16, who volunteered her time to help guide the young visitors.
She said: “I don’t know why more boys than girls choose to study engineering, I guess it is just because back in the day it was traditionally aimed at boys.”
Building the skills for her own bight future, and keen to urge more females to follow in her footsteps, Hannah added: “It’s great to be able to let young girls know that this is an option for them in life.”
Helping drive the initiative to inspire future talent, strategic business development coordinator Dave Thompson said: “Getting more females into engineering is something we are passionate about at NETA.”
The Stockton-based training provider which has delivered engineering training in the Teesside for more than 45 years, has even created its own mascot, GINE, to front their gender innovation in engineering scheme, reaching out to local primary schools.
The pilot programme has so far seen the schoolchildren take part in a session identifying jobs in engineering and a practical workshop, creating metal name tags. Next up for the enthusiastic bunch is an industrial visit.
Stephen Fawdon, a teacher at Preston Primary School, said: “STEM stereotypes are perpetuated from a young age, and today’s society and social media offers limited role models for young females who may wish to pursue a career in this field. Involvement in the GINE programme with NETA has helped raise awareness for our girls, to realise the possibilities of a future in STEM and has also supported work within our science curriculum and our very own bespoke ‘Preston Curriculum’, where there is a focus on career opportunities and life skills such as self-belief and critical thinking.”
Enjoying the programme so far, 10-year-old Eva Rose said: “I have got involved in things like doing a bit of engineering before, as I will sometimes help my dad with things.”
While Zeynep Badak, 11, added: “I wanted to have go as I thought it would be fun and interesting and when I grow up, I want to be a scientist and work in industry.”