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Manchester High School for Girls

Prep pupils Spring into STEM

On Friday 22nd March, we welcomed guest speakers from Hitachi Solutions, Learn by Design, Manchester University and Stemettes to lead a jam packed schedule of activities for our Preparatory Department STEM Day.

We teach our girls that they can do anything they put their mind to, but when it comes to choosing a career there can often be a significant gender divide. According to the latest figures, only 12 percent of the global workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is female. At Manchester High, we are seeking to address this imbalance by giving girls a vast array of opportunities to learn about the prospects these industries provide. We are very grateful to the national recruitment firm, Rullion, for supporting our vision and kindly sponsoring part of the day’s activities.


Girls in Year 5 and 6 enjoyed a visit from the Stemettes – an organisation founded to help inspire young girls into science, technology, engineering and maths careers. They were tasked to design an app under the theme of ‘Spring into STEM’. Florence in 6AP said:

“It was a very challenging activity, because nobody had ever built an app before, but the Stemettes supported us through the process. Our app was a quiz about women working in STEM which went down very well!”

Alumna Addi El-Ammar

We were pleased to welcome Class of 2003 alumna, Addi El-Ammar back to Manchester High to give girls in Year 3 and 4 an insight into the life of a consultant. Addi, who is a Senior Consultant for Hitachi Solutions Europe, helped girls to hone their negotiation skills in a Laptop Design Challenge. Frankie, in Year 4, said: “I really enjoyed the workshop because we had to put ourselves in somebody else’s position in order to be successful. I had never thought about how things like this work before, but the STEM Day will make me think about things more from now on!”

Dr Elise Kleyn and Georgia Lada

Poppy and Sunflower Class took part in a finger print workshop with Dr Elise Kleyn and Georgia Lada from the University of Manchester. After studying their fingers through a microscope, girls discovered that all finger prints are unique and nobody in the world will have exactly the same print as them. They then created pictures of animals using their finger prints, knowing that their pictures could never be replicated!

Leading consultant dermatologist Dr Kleyn then followed up the fingerprint workshop with sessions on sun safety.  Our pupils in year's 1 and 2 were taught all about UV light,  the effect this has on our skin and the importance of sun safety using special beads, which were then used to make key rings the girls could take home. 

Meanwhile, Learn by Design’s robotics workshop gave girls an insight into how robots are used in the modern workplace. After spending time planning how best to utilise the robots that were available, girls were separated into two teams to complete a number of different challenges. Violet, from Year 3, said: “The robot workshop was really fun. Controlling the robot was much harder than it looked and I found it quite hard at first, but we got the hang of it by the end and managed to win the challenge!”

Robotics Challenge

Helen Mortimer, Head of the Preparatory Department, was incredibly impressed with the day:

“The girls enjoyed the day immensely. It is my aim to inspire curiosity and imbed a love of learning and themed days such as the STEM Day really help to bring learning to life. I am very grateful to Rullion for supporting the day and all of our visitors for helping us to inspire the next generation of women in STEM!”

To see more photographs of the day, visit our Flickr album  here.