A key part of my work within the HR department here at Malvern Instruments is to forge links with the local schools and to assist them in promoting STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) to their students. A second key strand of my role is to work closely with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), which aims to raise the profile and celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career. One of my objectives for this year was to plan something to celebrate and promote National Women In Engineering Day (NWED) on 23rd June 2015, either internally to our employees or externally to local schools, and it made sense to combine these two facets of my role to create one big event which would encompass everything that we wanted to achieve – not an easy task!
Luckily, help was on hand in the form of my colleague Kalita Patel, Product Service Specialist. She had already been talking to her colleagues and fellow STEM Ambassadors about staging an event to promote Malvern Instruments to local schools, and by collaborating and combining our ideas we were able to come up with a credible and exciting plan for the day! We decided to hold an ‘Open Morning’ and invite local schools to visit us and see what we do, and at the same time promote STEM, WES, and National Women in Engineering Day not only to the students but to our organisation as a whole.
The result was that on 23rd June we opened our doors to 24 students from Malvern St James and Malvern College. The Open Morning was an opportunity for local students who are interested in science or engineering to come along to Malvern Instruments and learn about what we do and the kinds of jobs within science and engineering which are available to them.
The students attended a number of sessions designed to demonstrate our products and introduce them not only to the different roles that we have here at Malvern, but also to offer general career advice and to highlight the various routes into science and engineering that can be taken, using real-life examples from our employees.
Students experienced a practical demonstration of our Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction particle size analyzer, measuring the particle size of chocolate. They also saw our 3D printer in action, acted in the role of a computer doing some ‘number-crunching’, and listened to presentations from employees at all levels within the organisation.
The feedback from the schools was extremely positive, and it was such a successful event that we already have plans to run it again in the autumn to accommodate other local schools who were unable to attend this time. The students left Malvern feeling energized and inspired, we raised awareness of NWED both inside and outside of the company, and an enjoyable and enlightening day was had by all!