Girls into STEM – inspiring the net zero generation

Nov 24, 2021

After the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, it’s clear that inspiring the net zero generation is crucial if we are to meet the UK and Scottish governments’ net zero targets. Many of the engineers, technologists and entrepreneurs that will be addressing the net zero challenge are currently sitting in classrooms in schools, colleges and universities. This knowledge is one of the factors driving Forth Valley for Net Zero supporter, INEOS to work with schools and further education to encourage pupils and students to consider a career in STEM-related businesses and industries.

An event designed to inspire the next generation, STEM Crew Maritime Roadshow, organised by the 1851 Trust took place recently at the iconic Falkirk Wheel. Supported by the Department for Transport and local employers including INEOS, the event saw more than 250 girls from schools across the region come together to discover the range of STEM opportunities available to them when choosing a future career.

The event was supported by female employees from INEOS O&P UK and INEOS FPS both based at Grangemouth, as well as other women working in STEM-related roles in local businesses and industry. A full day of activities included:

  1. An Inspiration Zone – A range of activities that encouraged the students to develop their confidence at dealing with challenges they might face, including a ‘Growth Mindset’ Laugh-ology workshop.
  2. An Investigation Zone – Practical science and technology activities inspired by resources on the 1851 Trust’s e-learning platform, STEM CREW, included teams building their own wind turbines and competing to generate the most energy.
  3. Speed Networking – students had the opportunity to meet and gain insights from women working in STEM roles. The girls even got to have a spin on the Falkirk Wheel, with a canal boat journey on the unique rotating boat lift – engineering in action!

The day was a great success, with pupils gaining a greater understanding of the many opportunities offered by studying STEM subjects. Teachers also enjoyed the day, with one from West Calder High School stating, “Our girls had a fabulous and inspiring day.”

Karen Fleming, Learning and Development Manager at INEOS O&P UK, said “A huge thank you to all our female volunteers who gave their time to talk to the girls about their roles and career journeys at INEOS. Everyone was spurred on by recognising the importance of inspiring the next generation of young women and encouraging more to choose STEM careers.

Encouraging the net zero generation

If we are to meet global targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then inspiring the net zero generation to embrace STEM subjects at school and beyond is critical. Events like this engage and inspire the next generation to pick up the baton and lead us towards achieving our target of being net zero in 2045. Find out more about INEOS efforts to inspire the net zero generation and other actions they are taking to reach Net Zero.

Find out more about the 1851 Trust here.

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