Monica Vitorino, Hamilton Architects, Judith Harvey, W5 and Siobhan Mullan, Mullan Consulting Engineers pictured with participating schools at the Stadium STEM special event held recently at W5.

W5, Northern Ireland’s award-winning science and discovery centre hosted a unique girls-only event for Year 10 students this week supported by DCAL. The Stadium STEM event outlined the exciting plans for the redevelopment of the home of Ulster Rugby at Ravenhill, the IFA’s grounds at Windsor Park and the brand new GAA stadium to be built at Casement Park

The action-packed and fun event brought over 200 Year 10 girls from Little Flower Girls, St Dominic’s, Aquinas, Methodist College and Belfast Royal Academy to W5 to discover how important people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are to the local economy and to this ambitious programme of redevelopment in particular. The event was coordinated by the STEM Ambassadors Programme at W5 and aimed to challenge stereotypes by focusing on female role models involved with the various national stadia projects in a range of capacities.

As well as lecture theatre talks from two female engineering involved with the project, the pupils had the opportunity to take part in a fun construct-and-build challenge and  speak directly to female role models from local STEM employers who could offer practical assistance with subject choices, exploring training and Further Education options and alternative career paths.  The aim of the event was to offer students a unique insight into how relevant STEM subjects are in the current and future job market and how they can lead to highly respected and well paid jobs here in Northern Ireland.