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Girls in DT webinar: Exceptional cohort of female DT pupils shines a light on the shortage of women in DT industries

Wednesday 24 Mar 2021

Head of Design and Technology at the Senior School, James Buxton, and Design and Technology Teacher, Emerald Green, used a school-wide webinar to draw attention to a huge shortage of female professionals in related industries, such as product design. In order to highlight this issue and empower pupils to take an interest in a design and technology career, the DT department used the webinar to celebrate some of the world’s most successful women in design and technology as well as highlighting the career paths for women who choose DT as a GCSE and subsequently for A Level.

Mr Buxton said: “We have a really good group of Year 13 girls who are going to do well. It’s always been the case that female pupils do really well at DT across the country. But that doesn’t always translate across to industry.

“For most STEM industries, there’s a huge shortage of women. And we thought that because we had this really capable group of girls it was a good opportunity to shine a light on the imbalance.”

The talk featured Miss Green speaking about her own career in graphic illustration and visual effects, before she came to teach here, as well as a former pupil who has gone on to study architecture at Nottingham. There was also input from entrepreneurial pupils who have started their own design and production businesses and marketed their products using the skills they learned here at the College.

Mr Buxton concluded: “We’ve had this in the pipeline for a while, to show pupils, and especially the girls, that there are exceptional careers in design and technology for them. We’re hopeful this will help pupils decide to take the subject for their GCSEs and A Levels, with a view to following their dreams at university.”

During the last lockdown, pupils were set a challenge to come up with a musical instrument using sustainable materials or to create an innovative piece of wearable tech. As part of the project, called Designs for Real Life, pupils were required to set up a website to promote their products and produce a marketing jingle to be used to hypothetically advertise. The innovative project was created in collaboration with the music department and the computer science department and produced some amazing products, including a t-shirt which monitors the health of the wearer.

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