Visit to Newnham College and the Department of Engineering, Cambridge

On Wednesday 6th November, a group of year 11 and 12 girls took part in a visit to Newnham College, Cambridge and the Department of Engineering in a bid to encourage more girls into physics. Newnham College is an all women college, established in 1871.

Valuable information was provided to us by Lucy, who talked about student life and gave instructional advice on applying to Cambridge, Oxford and other universities. We then attended a lecture by a PhD student in Selwyn College on Chemical Engineering and how it is used for medical research. The subject was our microbiome (mainly found in our intestine) and how she was developing artificial environments to replicate and study how bacteria react.

A well-earned lunch was taken in ‘The Buttery’ alongside university students, after which we toured the college and its beautiful grounds.

However, the highlight of the day was the tour of the Department of Engineering. We were shown some awesome facilities by Maria who explained how they were used. The Dyson Centre has a huge workshop which can be used at any time by students to try out and create ideas. The skills needed for engineering are Maths, Physics and Creativity! During our visit we were able to see the results of a second year graduate project to create mine-sweeping robots.

Due to having to travel home, we left with our students wanting to see more!

Our students commented

  • ‘A dream come true…I learnt a lot more about university than ever before’
  • ‘It was really eye-opening. I really enjoyed the engineering section.’
  • ‘It was very encouraging and opened my eyes to uni life and how independent you can become’
  • ‘It was fun and broadened my options’
  • ‘I enjoyed the trip as it provided an insight to opportunities and career paths In the future