Nuclear Engineering in the summer

During the summer break, a number of Science enthusiasts attended residential courses in various aspects of engineering run by the Smallpeice Trust in universities, colleges and training centres across Britain. National Grid Engineering was the topic at the University of Portsmouth in June. Girls worked alongside real engineers to see how the supply of energy works, taking a close-up view of high voltage sub-stations, lines and cables. At the University of Cardiff in July, mobile communications were studied close up.

Also in July, three Withington students attended residential four-day courses at Lancaster University, focusing on the nuclear industry. A combination of presentations, workshops, practical design-and-make projects and a Dragon's Den style pitch introduced the students to a variety of topical subjects including radiation, the environment, health and safety and decommissioning of waste. The programme, which also included a film night, a rocket challenge, a formal dinner and disco, taught the students a variety of skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, time-management, finance and presentation.

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Gemma Murphy said: "These courses enable us to enthuse scientists and engineers of tomorrow and highlight the benefits of careers in the field of engineering. This year's course has been a resounding success and, as ever, we have been most impressed by the calibre of the students."

Head of Physics, Mrs Lisa Bradshaw said: "These Smallpeice courses continue to be popular with our pupils. They get the chance to experience engineering in a variety of real life situations. And the specialist courses provide insights far beyond those that can be experienced in the classroom. We are now seeing Upper Fourth girls taking courses and girls from Lower Fourth applying for places 12 months ahead."