This year, Thales is supporting the 2017 WISE Awards by sponsoring the Toy Award, a brand new award category, which recognises the best toy or game for girls that gets them excited about STEM.
It is estimated that the UK will need 87,000 engineers each year for the next decade, which means that we need to double the number of young people entering the engineering industry every year.
Encouraging and engaging children at school in STEM subject helps do just that; get pupils interested in science, technology engineering and maths from an early age, and we want to do our bit to help.
Eve Maywood, Education and Outreach Manager, Thales UK, says: “Evidence shows that most young people decide between the ages of 10-14 whether STEM subjects are something they are interested in, and it’s their experiences at school and at home that will have the biggest impact on their decisions.”
Lilian Knight, UK Engineering Performance Coordinator, Thales UK says: “We chose to sponsor this particular award this year as it recognises the influence that society has, rather than only schools and industries, on the career paths young girls choose.
“Many science toys and gadgets to do with robotics and programming are often marketed at boys. We want to recognise the designers and manufacturers of toys which give all children an equal opportunity to kick-start their interest in STEM without being gender-biased.”
Working to increase the number of women in engineering is high on the diversity and inclusion agenda at Thales in the UK. We work closely with local schools so that our engineering community can provide inspiring examples of what opportunities are available in the engineering industry, and demonstrate the different educational routes that get them there.
Eve adds: “Supporting the WISE Toy Award is a really important way of helping engage young people, at an early age, into science and technology, in a creative and entertaining way. Helping children to learn through play enhances their understanding about these subjects and shows them that STEM can be fun!”
And this is a where you can help make a difference. Next time you buy an educational toy for your daughter, granddaughter niece or friend, take a moment to look at the WISE list of science toys for girls (to be announced soon) – you might just inspire the next Ada Lovelace!