Three female engineers from BAE Systems Submarines in Barrow have been nominated for two major awards.
Sophie Dent, Lauren Eastburn and Beth Howarth-Henry, have been shortlisted in both the Women in Defence Awards 2018 and the European Diversity Awards 2018 after their imaginative work to encourage more girls into engineering.
The colleagues formed the Guides in Engineering (G-Eng) team and worked together to develop the ground-breaking engineering challenge Clever Cogs – the first engineering challenge badge for GirlGuiding, designed for girls aged five to 24.
The idea for came after the team ran a successful engineering awareness day for South Cumbrian Guides, but found there was confusion about what engineering really is.
Working to develop a strong relationship with the GirlGuiding organisation, the team went on to design an activity pack to offer Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Senior Section a flavour of different engineering disciplines – from materials engineering to astronautical engineering – via 13 fun challenges, such as egg parachutes and exploding volcanos.
Sophie said: “We are thrilled to be nominated for these awards, as they provide us with a fantastic opportunity to promote G-Eng and all of the work we do with Girlguiding. We love being role models for the next generation; showing engineering as a career option for young women across the UK and internationally.”
The Clever Cogs badge has become the North West Girlguiding Region's bestselling-badge, and to date the badge has been completed over 18,000 times, by girls from all over the UK.
The G-Eng team have also now launched a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) focused Rainbows Unit in Barrow, backed by BAE Systems.
This unit meets on a weekly basis and is run by volunteers sourced from within the company. The unit was established to address the need for Rainbows places in the local area, as well as engaging more girls in STEM activities.
BAE Systems Submarines engineering director Russ Watson said: "It is essential in the modern world that young women see engineering as a natural career choice which is the why the work the G-Eng team have done is so vital and is to be applauded.
“It is tremendous that their great achievements have been rightly recognised by nominations for national and international awards.”
At the Women in Defence UK Awards 2018, the G-Eng team are among 52 women and eight teams to have been shortlisted from over 300 applications. The team attended a shortlisting event in London on September 26 ahead of the finals later this month.
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