Girls into physics and engineering

18 December 2012

Wednesday 31 October saw the fourth annual event held at George Watson’s College Edinburgh, to promote the uptake of Physics and Engineering by girls.

Girls at George Watson’s College Edinburgh

This event which started from small beginnings has grown steadily over these years. This year was the biggest to date and just under 160 girls from across the central belt attended, with St Andrews, Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities, SSERC, IET, ICE, Selex, ‘The Hydrogen Office’ and the Territorial Army providing the workshops.

They had a short talk by guest speaker Dr Moira Jardine from the School of Physics and Astronomy at St Andrews University. Dr Jardine explained why she had chosen Physics and in particular astronomy and then went on to talk about her research group’s work.

The girls, working in groups, then went to seven workshops over the rest of the day. The activities included working with liquid nitrogen, constructing model bridges and testing their strength, building and using small hydrogen fuel cells to run model cars, investigating the properties of light, using Physics in health monitoring and learning to work as a team.

The day closed with a panel session where some of the workshop presenters answered questions about their career choices and their current roles. It was obvious from the buzz in the hall, the questions and the feedback from staff and girls that this event is very worthwhile and will encourage girls to consider this career path.

Girls at the event


The event would not be possible without the help and contributions from the workshop hosts, George Watson’s College, the Institute of Physics and the Women’s Engineering Society. Next year’s event is already in the early planning stages and it is hoped to run a similar event in a different area of Scotland.

Information is available from Gail Millar at

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