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    Students inspired by STEM Rising Stars

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    Students inspired by STEM Rising Stars

    WeAreTheCity 2020 Rising Stars in Science and Engineering proved to be inspirational role models at 3M’s STEM careers Q&A for Year 9 students in Leicestershire.

    Students inspired by STEM Rising Stars

    WeAreTheCity 2020 Rising Stars in Science and Engineering proved to be inspirational role models at 3M’s STEM careers Q&A for Year 9 students in Leicestershire.

    Students inspired by STEM Rising Stars

    WeAreTheCity 2020 Rising Stars in Science and Engineering proved to be inspirational role models at 3M’s STEM careers Q&A for Year 9 students in Leicestershire.

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      3M sponsors the Science and Engineering category of the Rising Star Awards programme, championing females working in the industry who help to highlight the wide range of STEM careers available.

      The Q&A session was attended by teachers from Soar Valley College, the Jameah Girls Academy and South Charnwood High School who put forward questions to the panel on behalf of their students. In addition, questions from students attending Orchard Mead Academy and Lancaster Academy were invited.

      Amber O’Connor, Hannah Ratcliffe, Katie Burnell and Rebecca Cocklin were joined on the panel by 3M’s Sarah Chapman, EMEA market segment Application Engineering manager for the Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division and a Science and Engineering Rising Star in 2016.

      Introducing the session, Communications and Visual Identity manager, Julie Owen, said: “At 3M we apply science to develop thousands of products that improve lives all around the world and are passionate about encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers who will be the innovators of tomorrow.

      “We are delighted to host this unique event as an opportunity for Year 9 school students to put their own questions about STEM careers to five exceptional female engineers.”

      During the session, the Rising Stars were asked a wide range of questions, covering topics such as the skills and qualifications needed to become an engineer; what they enjoy most about the job; who inspired the panellists to study STEM subjects; and how much they earn.

      Here is a taste of some of their answers:

      Speaking about the qualifications needed to be an engineer, Sarah said: “Science and maths are good fits, but communication and problem-solving skills are important too. I originally trained as a ballet dancer, but an inspirational chemistry teacher set me on another path.”

      Amber added: “There are many different routes into engineering and you don’t need a degree. I left school at 16 and did an apprenticeship, attending college part time, and now work as an aeroderivative gas turbines engineer for Siemens Energy.”

      Rebecca knew that she wanted to be an engineer as an eight-year-old racing karts with her brother and today she works in future fuels for BP.

      She said: “In engineering everyone pulls together. I love working with a team of designers and customers on projects that have an impact on the community and benefit people.”

      Katie Burnell manages a team of 160 engineers for Amey plc, who work both on site and in the office planning and managing projects. She said: “In engineering everyone pulls together. I love working with a team of designers and customers on projects that have an impact on the community and benefit people.”

      Although the panellists wouldn’t be drawn on their earnings, Hannah, who is a senior engineer for Jacobs consultancy working in the Highways sector, said: “There is lots of opportunity for promotion in engineering, particularly working for a global company. You will never be stagnant, but always growing.”

      The event was promoted to local schools by the Leicestershire Education Business Company. The organisation’s STEM manager, Judith Payne, said: “The Rising Stars were all fabulous. They gave some really interesting and thought-provoking answers to the questions, especially around how doing projects outside their comfort zone has helped them to develop new skills.”

      Watch a recording of the session