Imperial College London

Secondary school girls visit Department of ChemEng for Engineering Summer School

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Engineering summer school girls

Girls aged 11-14 attended a summer school within the Faculty of Engineering which included a morning spent at the Department of Chemical Engineering

In a week-long event held across the Departments within the Faculty of Engineering, the students engaged in various educational activities which showcased the range and depth of work carried out in engineering. On Friday morning the girls were placed in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and took part in a number of activities which highlighted some of the work performed by chemical engineers, and their real-world applications.

The activities included: 

-A hands-on activity around the topic of manufacturing. The students looked at ways to produce bouncy ‘slime’ polymers and shake gels. They experimented with a range of variables such as ratios of materials, mixing speed/time, etc.

Learning about bouncy 'slime' polymers

Learning about bouncy 'slime' polymers

-A view of how chemical engineers are involved in energy-related fields. The students visited the carbon capture pilot plant and the control room. The students were given an experience of the scale and the safety aspects of the process.

In the carbon capture pilot plant control room

Experiencing the carbon capture pilot plant control room

-A view of how chemical engineers are involved in bio-related fields. The students visited the blood factory (producing blood in the laboratory, and blood stem cells).

In the blood factory

In the blood factory

“We had a fantastic day with the girls” said Dr Camille Petit, a Lecturer in the Department, who ran the chemical engineering activities, “They were a real pleasure to teach thanks to their overwhelming enthusiasm, and what really struck me was the level of insight they displayed - some of the questions they asked were really sharp and penetrating. Outreach activities such as this are extremely important to help inspire the girls to have an interest in engineering from an early age, to show them that it is a great career for women, and to ensure they make an informed decision when they pick subjects at school.”

Engineering summer school students

By encouraging the students to engage in such activities, whilst interacting with positive role models such as Dr Petit, the summer school aimed to inspire the girls to take an interest in the relevant subjects at school, and consider engineering as a viable career path.

Summer school girls

This highly successful event was set up by Dr Jenna Stevens-Smith from the Department of Bioengineering. See a full write-up of the week’s activities: 11-14 year old girls immersed in week-long engineering summer school.

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Reporter

Michael Panagopulos

Michael Panagopulos
Department of Chemical Engineering

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