SmartSTEMs wins award

11 September 2015

SmartSTEMs aims to inspire more young women to take up STEM subjects.

SmartSTEMs aims to inspire more young women to take up STEM subjects.

An event held at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) aimed at inspiring more young women to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has won an award.

The inaugural, free-to-attend SmartSTEMs event won an Inspiring City Award, a ceremony which was organised by The Herald and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce in association with city brand People Make Glasgow.

SmartSTEMs took place at GCU’s Glasgow campus on June 3 and saw 500 school pupils aged between 11 and 18 in attendance. It featured keynote addresses from June Thomson, IBM UK and Ireland Healthcare Industry Leader, and Sarah Drummond, Managing Director of design agency SNOOK.

There were also 30 breakout sessions offered on the day, which included titles such as 'Crime under the microscope', 'Code now - start writing software' and 'Exploring energy with the S-Cubes'. Some of the other breakout sessions looked at careers in aviation, security on mobile devices and digital modelling of interior space.

In addition, there were awards for the best wearable technology projects, with prizes including a trip to IBM’s research lab in Hursley, a visit to CISCO and a Rolls Royce ride to school.

Organising the event on behalf of GCU’s School for Engineering and the Built Environment was Dr Tuleen Boutaleb. She said: “Female uptake of engineering and computing programmes remains low and it is events such as SmartSTEMs that aim to improve understanding of the relevance of STEM to future careers for women.

“As an engineer who lectures in Electronics and Telecommunications, I am sure that this event will contribute to the drive to increase the number of female students in my future classes.”

The SmartSTEMs event was a collaboration between several partners, and was driven by Seric Systems, a technology business specialising in security, fraud prevention and infrastructure.

Stuart MacDonald, Managing Director Seric Systems, said: “For Scotland to succeed on a global scale, we must ensure we have the most diverse pool of talent tackling problems.

“SmartSTEMs exists to ensure the widest possible STEM pipeline is generated among our young people.”