Girls were inspired to get into coding at Ellesmere Port’s Thornton Science Park.
The high school students, in Years 8 and 9 from schools across Cheshire, Wales and Shropshire, were motivated to consider careers in cyber coding and computer activities during a Cyber Girls First day at the science park.
The University of Chester’s faculty of science and engineering teamed up with the RAF and Cyber Girls to organise the initiative aimed at supporting and encouraging girls who enjoy STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
Around 100 students took part in workshops and activities tackling coding problems and linking them with roles available to them in engineering, coding and cyber careers.
Part of the day also included meeting women in IT positions in the RAF, government, business and companies in north Wales and the north west of England whose senior women were keen to talk to the girls about potential career opportunities.
Angela Lupton, higher education STEM co-ordinator in the faculty, said: “I was very keen to organise a day for girls only to celebrate International Women’s Day, showcase STEM and for them to have practical experience of its applications and hopefully to inspire them to consider a career in science.
“My background is physics and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my scientific career. Only 12% of jobs in STEM subjects are filled by women yet we make up 51% of the population. I want to change the mind-set of those who feel that STEM subjects are not for girls.”
During the day BBC Radio Merseyside also attended and interviewed pupils attending the workshops from Cheshire’s Wade Deacon High School in Widnes.
Ann Fraser, STEM leader at Wade Deacon, said: “This has been a great opportunity for our girls to experience STEM subjects out of a school setting.
“These children will be taking their option choices soon so we are trying to promote STEM subjects to them as a great career opportunity for girls.”
Student Anna Conway added: “A woman who has her own business came to speak to us. She showed us so many jobs that are open to women in these subjects. Especially with our options coming up soon, it showed us that anything is possible.”