To encourage young people to consider STEM careers, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, held three virtual science workshops for school children. During one of the workshops, attendees made CD spectrometers using a cereal box, a CD, scissors and different light sources. The spectrometers helped the students learn about the different properties of light, such as refraction and reflection, and understand how Renishaw applies this to real life situations, such as non-destructive quality testing and medical applications such as the detection of cancer cells.
The workshop, run by Jennifer Ferguson, Applications Scientist at Renishaw, was Renishaw’s first outreach event that was specifically advertised as a science workshop focused on applications in engineering. Renishaw will continue this format in the future by running outreach events that focus on one specific STEM area – science, technology, engineering or maths – to encourage a wider range of children with different interests to engage with the events.
“The workshop took place when children were predominantly in virtual lessons, so we wanted to encourage them to do practical science experiments at home,” explained Ferguson. “We used materials that are commonly found in the home, instead of the spectrometer kits that we would normally provide during an in-person workshop. This adaptation encouraged more interaction from the children, and we had a very captive audience who asked great questions and engaged well through Microsoft Teams emojis and the comments box.”
“I felt privileged to see so many children, especially young girls, showing real passion for the sciences during the workshop,” commented Ferguson. “As a child, I always loved the diversity that science subjects gave, so it was great to help inspire a younger generation of future scientists, engineers and physicists to think about science and how it impacts the world we are living in.”
Renishaw is committed to bringing clear and positive messages about science, technology, engineering and maths into schools and colleges throughout Gloucestershire, Bristol and South Wales using its education outreach programmes. To find out more about the educational opportunities at Renishaw for local schools visit https://www.renishaw.com/en/education-outreach.