Last week’s ‘Girls in STEM’ conference at Sage Gateshead is continuing to inspire many of the 300 North East women and girls who attended the event.  A delegation of 30 pupils from Newcastle High School for Girls who were awarded the Best School Prize after scoring highly in the day’s online competitions and tasks will enjoy their winnings, a trip to the RAF’s Spadeadam site on the Cumbrian/Northumberland border.

The girls learnt  Girls in stem 3of their prize at the end of a very busy and exciting day of talks, interactive presentations, hands on coding and marine biology activities all with a STEM theme.  Schools from across the North East attended the event, which was celebrating its 2nd year in the North East.  Last January, the first event was held at Sage to encourage more women and girls to consider STEM subjects and related careers.

This year, the initiative, which made its debut in the North East, was rolled out to five other locations across the UK and Ireland involving nearly 2,000 young people.

Challenges throughout the day tested delegates in a range of STEM activities.  A team of pupils from Newcastle High won a series of challenges during a Cryptanalysis session which will see them go on to compete with other regional winners from “Girls in STEM” events held at other centres including London and Manchester.

STEM picThroughout the day, using ipads the girls competed against each other in a series of online games.  A team of two Year 9 pupils, Katie Tiesdell, 14 and 13 year old Tara Broughton won the Silver Award in an event in which they had to use coding in Javascript.  The Gold Award and winning team were also 14 year old Newcastle High pupils, Sarah Jackson, Serena Philpott and Catherine O’Rourke who beat four teams to pick up the award.

Commenting on the day and the win 14 year old, Newcastle High pupil Katie Tiesdell said:  “I love science in school but it was great to go to the event and to learn about all the different jobs that are available in STEM subjects.  We’re really looking forward to visiting the RAF base and hope that we’ll get to learn more about Engineering when we are there.”

Teacher, Kay Thew who accompanied the girls to the event added:  “It was so inspiring to see and hear all of the opportunities that are available today and into the future for our girls in STEM subjects and careers.  As a school Newcastle High already has over 50% of our girls going on to study STEM subjects at University and events like ‘Girls in STEM’ can only help to close the gender and skills gap in STEM industries which is especially important in the North East.”

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