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Academics take inspiring WinSTEM message into local schools

Brentford School for Girls pupils with circuit cards

Scientists at UWL have gone into local schools to inspire female pupils to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and spread the vital message: ‘Yes, you can.’

As part of the University’s mission to widen opportunity in order that as many people as possible benefit from higher education, six female academics at UWL have formed a WinSTEM (Women in STEM) group. Its mission is to battle outmoded stereotypes that may put girls off studying these subjects at degree level.

In July, the WinSTEM group took part in three outreach projects aimed at inspiring teenagers. Dr Nagham Saeed, who lectures in electrical engineering, attended the Big Bang Fair on 6 July, at which she taught students how to build circuits. Then on 16 July, students from Brentford School for Girls visited UWL’s campus in Ealing to learn from a female student and post-graduate student at the School of Computing and Engineering. Another event on 19 July saw local pupils discover electrical engineering.

Find out more about WinSTEM at UWL.

Siara, 15, who attends Brentford School for Girls, said she enjoyed the WinSTEM event. ‘I enjoyed making the circuit. I like how they are encouraging women to get involved. Many women think only men can do these subjects, but now I’m thinking women can do anything they want as well.’

Dr Nagham Saeed, who lectures in electrical engineering, said: ‘These activities are valuable opportunities to encourage young women to fulfil their dreams, even if they face difficulties throughout the journey.  I hope to inspire the next generation to be confident in whatever they choose to do by motivating them to step outside of their comfort zone and ignore stereotypes.’

(l-r) Mehbooba Farinha, Nagham Saeed and Ashley De-Guzman

SCE Alumni Dinner champions WinSTEM

Breaking down barriers to women studying STEM subjects was the focus of the key-note speech at SCE’s Alumni Dinner, organised by the Alumni Association, recently.

Professor Amir Alani, Executive Dean of the School, gave a presentation on women in engineering and technology, discussing how UWL can help to increase the number of women in these fields.

Meanwhile, one female attendee and alumna of the University, Jasleen Maan, gave an impassioned impromptu speech about the importance of encouraging women to enter and thrive in STEM.

The event at UWL’s St Mary’s Road campus site was well-attended and guests made the most of the opportunity to renew friendships and make new contacts. Also at the dinner was Pro-Chancellor Lord Faringdon, KCVO, after whom is named UWL’s new The Faringdon Centre in honour of his generous support.

Take our fun online quiz about Women in STEM. Check out the School of Computing and Engineering