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Engineering Buddies go to the Galaxy
Six lucky local girls took an amazing trip to the Jodrell Bank Observatory recently as part of a prize to reward their enthusiasm and dedication to the Macclesfield College led ‘Engineering – Girls Can Do It Too!’ project.
The Project aims to encourage young women into Engineering through partnerships with local businesses and organisations, including The University of Manchester, who carry out research activities in astronomy and astrophysics at Jodrell Bank.
The girls taking part in the VIP visit included Lizzie, Becky and Holly from Dean Valley Primary School, Alyana from Park Royal Primary School, Olivia from The Macclesfield Academy and Rachel, Grace and Caitlin from Tytherington High School. They were joined by Tytherington teacher Mary Henshaw, and parent Mrs Jennifer Brockbank, who have both won awards for their contributions to the Project.
The budding engineers saw the enormous Lovell telescope which, at 76 meters in diameter, is the third largest steerable telescope in the world. After a talk from the Education Manager about how it works and how observations are recorded, the girls were led into the Planetarium to look at
how planets move in real time. Here they learnt how bodies are continuously being discovered and re-named, and they explored the reasons for Pluto’s demotion from a planet to a dwarf planet.
The trip also included a visit to the Space Pavilion where the girls uncovered answers to the wonders the Universe, listened to the sounds of the ‘Big Bang’ and explored the invisible Universe through a range of hands on activities, including touching a meteorite.
Commenting on the awe inspiring trip Holly Brockbank said: ‘I’ve learnt so much today and will be looking into the sky more now to see the star compilations that we were told about’. Debbie Kent, mother of Becky, said: ‘They’ve all had a fantastic time and feel very special. This Project has shown them how interesting and fun science and engineering can be.’
The ‘Engineering – Girls Can Do It Too!’ project works with organisations such as Siemens, BAE Systems, British Gas and Vauxhall Motors. Together they run events which give the girls and their parents first-hand experience of what science and engineering is all about. Since its launch, the
Project has encouraged over 100 girls to consider science and engineering as a career. Kay Lees, Project Manager, said: ‘The girls that have been on this Project for 3 years have shown commitment and enthusiasm to it and I am convinced we will inspire some amazing scientists and engineers that will make a difference to the world we live in.’
For further information about the ‘Engineering – Girls Can Do It Too!’ project or the engineering courses available at Macclesfield College please see www.macclesfield.ac.uk
or call 01625 410002.