Loughborough University: Year 10 Athena STEM residential is hailed a success

Over 50 students spent four days on campus in July for an inspiring residential focused on STEM subjects.

The event, hosted by the School and College Liaison team, saw students attend a variety of academic talks and workshops designed to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

This was the fourth event of this kind, after a three-year break due to covid. The initiative is designed to encourage students who identify as female to develop their interest in STEM subjects and develop a range of key skills including team-working, problem-solving, analytical and presentational skills.

Over the course of four days, pupils learned about building wave energy converters and wind turbines, designing solar cars and building sustainable recycling solutions.

They used the information they gained to develop a proposal for a sustainable island community and presented their ideas on the final day to a team of judges from Ford and Ford Fund.

During their visit, the students also stayed in the halls of residence on campus and also took part in a range of activities to give them a flavour of what life might be like at a university, including a BBQ, a film night and a UV Zumba class.

The free-to-attend residential is open to schools from all over the UK and this year students represented:

Vandyke Upper School, Bedfordshire
Barr Beacon School, Birmingham
Priory Academy, Lincolnshire
Landau Forte College, Derbyshire
Hinckley Academy, Leicestershire
Castle Rock School, Leicestershire
De-Lisle College, Leicestershire
Marie Shaw, Senior Outreach Officer in the University’s School and College Liaison Team, said: ”It was amazing to see students grow in confidence over the course of the week and we were blown away by the research, ideas and creativity that the students displayed through their projects. We hope we have inspired the students and made them think about what STEM subjects they might like to study in the future.”

All events have been supported by the Ford Fund – a non-profit organization and the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.