Open your mind …

20140925_182254The first ever Withington STEM Family Challenge took place on the evening of 25th September. Girls from Third Form through to Upper Fourth were invited to attend with one or more family members. The aim of the event was to give the families and girls more information regarding careers in the STEM subjects.

We were treated to a talk from Clare Sibley, who left Withington in 2005 to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge and then went on to work for Mercedes Benz F1 as a materials engineer.

After the talk, family teams were challenged to keep a marble rolling for the longest possible time into a pot on the floor using a limited amount of materials. Sounds simple – but ask any of the families present and they will tell you otherwise. As the clock ran down the intensity increased, but it was great to see girls and families working together to overcome their problems and redesign their solution – which is what of course engineering is all about.



Before the prizes were announced, Professor Steve Furber from the University of Manchester Computer Engineering Department, and who is also a School Governor, gave a short talk focusing on his area of research in computer brain modelling, which generated some interesting questions from the audience. Congratulations go to Ellen Brabban-Brown and her family who were overall winners with a clever solution to the problem.


In all, it was well received as families entered into the spirit of the competition. Parent participant Mrs Vesna Higginbotham commented on how much she appreciated such an event being made available to younger girls before they begin to consider GCSE options. Thanks go to Acting Head of Careers, Mrs Nichola Watson, who helped to organise the event.

Mrs Lisa Bradshaw, Head of Physics

It was worth it for the chocolates!