UWS partners with theatre to promote STEM
The University of the West of Scotland has launched a partnership with PACE theatre company to deliver an interactive, drama-based workshop which is hoped will inspire primary school children to consider careers in STEM.
The workshop, named ‘Engineering Wonder’, will take place on Monday, October 22 at PACE theatre company’s Paisley studios. Local families are encouraged to come along to the free, interactive event.
The workshop is aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12 and will explore gender-based stereotypes and how to challenge them through creative drama performances.
At the event, young people will have the chance to play a part in the drama performances, design posters, and discuss what engineers or scientists really do.
They’ll also learn about local heroines who had a real impact in the field of engineering, including Dorothée Pullinger, who designed a car for women, built by women engineers, and who interestingly trained as an apprentice in Paisley before the First World War.
Researchers from UWS’ Schools of Media, Culture & Society and Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences are behind the initiative, which examined Scottish industrial heritage, addressing gender bias and stereotypes in industrial history through the creative arts.
The project is being led by Professor Katarzyna Kosmala and Dr Evi Viza.
Professor Kosmala said: "There is no time like the present to look to the younger generation to make a real difference and increase the adoption of STEM careers. Although STEM job opportunities are expanding, more can be done to effectively recruit and retain minority populations and women in STEM.
"I truly believe adding arts to STEM education is the key to its success."
Dr Viza said: "Engineering is about exploring and discovering and we hope our event inspires the younger generation to consider a career in STEM."
The event will host a range of discussions looking at how young people’s underlying qualities could be essential in helping them succeed in STEM careers, and essentially, how to bring more diversity to STEM.
Jenni Mason, PACE artistic director, said: "We are passionate about creating opportunities for young people to explore their full potential, and performance art experiences are a great way to unlock a whole host of other skills.
"Drama can be a really useful tool to provoke discussion and get young people to think differently, and so we’re really pleased to be partnering with UWS on this project."
The workshop is funded by Paisley 2021’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund and the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Award. Ice Cream Architecture, a multi-disciplinary design team of community led facilitators will facilitate the event.
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