Students rose to the challenge of building robots and designing towers as Emerson hosted its latest ‘We Love STEM’ day, to develop young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). More than 30 pupils aged 11 to 12 from three local schools took part, spending an enlightening day alongside Emerson employees and competing in fun, hands-on activities at the company’s facility in Slough.
Emerson – a global engineering company that provides technology solutions and services for some of the world’s biggest automation projects – is committed to supporting STEM initiatives. ‘We Love STEM’ days, such as the one in Slough, are among the many events that the company either hosts or supports, with the aim of inspiring keen and talented youngsters to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing.
During their day with Emerson, students from The Westgate School, The Beaconsfield School and Bourne End Academy each tackled a STEM tech challenge to build a robot. This enabled them to learn about ‘machine autonomous problem-solving’ and how to interpret and follow technical documents. The pupils also took on a STEM engineering design challenge to create a tower capable of supporting balls of varying sizes. This tested the students’ ability to work through the entire cycle of designing, building and testing a prototype.
In addition to these competitive challenges, the students were also given a tour of the Emerson manufacturing facility. This included interactive demonstrations of the various measurement technologies that are developed and manufactured there, and which are applied in industries such as oil and gas, power generation, and food and beverage production.
“Such a well-planned, inspiring day for our students,” said Alia Brammal, maths teacher at Bourne End Academy. “They were so engaged and loved all the activities. The girls have especially appreciated having their eyes opened to all the STEM opportunities.”
The event was co-ordinated by members of Emerson’s Women in STEM employee resource group, which provides employees with opportunities for volunteering, mentoring, networking and professional development.
“Fast-evolving digital technologies are transforming the way industrial process and manufacturing plants operate, so there is an increasing need for workers with excellent technical knowledge and skills,” said Emerson engineering project manager Adrianna Niedzwiecka, who organised the event. “However, across the UK there are not enough pupils, especially girls, studying the STEM subjects, resulting in a skills gap and a shortfall in the number of young people making their way into engineering and manufacturing. To help close this skills gap, it is vital for companies such as Emerson to do all we can to support STEM education and careers awareness.
“It was our pleasure to welcome so many enthusiastic students from our local schools, and we hope they have been inspired by what they learned in spending the day with us. STEM subjects are often perceived as being difficult, but we wanted to show that there’s plenty of scope to have fun with them too.”
Emerson’s ‘We Love STEM’ initiative was launched to help young people understand the significant impact STEM careers can have on the world, and it encourages talented students to develop their interest in STEM subjects. Thousands of students have attended employee-hosted ‘We Love STEM’ days at Emerson facilities around the world, and these events are just a part of the company’s efforts to help motivate the next generation of innovators. The initiative also provides a rich variety of resources in partnership with renowned science vlogger Hank Green, including inspirational videos and social media feeds, to empower future engineers.
To learn more about Emerson’s ‘We Love STEM’ and ‘Women in STEM’ initiatives, visit www.Emerson.com/WeLoveSTEM.