22nd January 2016
A group of girls, aged 11 to 18, from St Anne’s Catholic School in Southampton, have won a global competition aimed at encouraging more women to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Entries to the competition were tasked with designing a new sports venue for their local area, using either a derelict or brownfield site. The St Anne’s girls, named Team Cudos, fought off competition from schools as far away as India and Nepal, taking the crown for their design of a new ice skating rink.
Building the Future, Shaping our World, is a global female engineering competition launched in the Channel Islands in June 2015 by Jersey College for Girls (JCG) student, Rachel Hayden. The competition was started through the International Women’s Academy and was sponsored by global corporate, private client and funds company Hawksford. Entrants were asked to create a PowerPoint presentation with no more than 10 slides to present their designs. The teams were asked to consider factors such as benefits to the community, sustainability, design, services and use of land when submitting their projects.
Miss Hayden, who is herself a Year 13 student and Head Girl at JCG, was delighted with the quality of the entries and was particularly impressed with the winning team, commenting, ‘The detail of the design submitted by Team Cudos was very impressive and the judges were particularly captivated by their consideration of both sustainability and services and land. The girls had done a lot of research as well, which supported their design and made them worthy winners of the competition.’
‘I set up the competition because many women across the globe don’t realise that a career in engineering exists or is accessible for them. Only six per cent of the engineering workforce in the UK is female, which is a shockingly low number. This competition has provided these girls with an insight into how exciting a career in engineering could be, and hopefully will inspire some of them to pursue a career in this diverse, expanding and creative field,’ she added.
Each of the four criteria were marked out of five points by an expert judging panel. The panel consisted of Jersey’s chief minister, Ian Gorst, engineering professor at Southampton University, Dr Jon Hare, Civil Engineer at Arup, Becky Slater, Hawksford CEO, Maxine Rawlins, chief officer of Jersey Transport and Technical Services, John Rogers, and Le Masurier CEO, Brian McCarthy.
‘I would like to thank all of the judges for giving up their time to consider the entries, and in particular to Hawksford for sponsoring the global half of the competition. Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this,’ added Miss Hayden.
Hawksford’s marketing manager, Cherith Fothergill, commented, ‘On behalf of Hawksford, I am delighted that we were able to support Building the Future, Shaping our World. We strongly believe that women should be encouraged to explore all employment options, and that equal opportunities should be given to women throughout their careers. Rachel has done a fantastic job bringing this important issue to light, and it was an honour to witness what will hopefully be the start of some very exciting careers in science and engineering.’
Each member of Team Cudos will receive an iPad Mini 3 at a special awards ceremony held at St Anne’s Catholic School on Monday 25th January. Miss Hayden will be presenting the awards and will also hosting a sixth form talk about women in engineering.