food-fraudThe latest report from Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) revealed that just 14% of the UK STEM workforce is female.  Whilst this number is growing, there is still clearly work to be done to ensure we have a well stocked science and engineering talent pipeline.

A common refrain given to explain this paucity of women in the sector is down to a lack of role models to inspire and engage the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The following are all free online courses on the FutureLearn website delivered by some of the most inspirational women working in academia today.  Each one offers a tantalising glimpse into the exciting ways young girls can forge a career in science and engineering.

Identifying Food Fraud featuring Kate Kemsley from UAE (University of East Anglia)

“In this course we will look at topical issues concerning ‘food fraud’ and explore ways in which analytical chemistry can help in its identification and prevention. We’ll share fascinating examples, such as the history of white bread and a surprising ingredient once found in bitter beer.”

Numeracy Skills for Employability and the Workplace from Janette Matthews from Loughborough

“This free online course from the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University will help you improve or revise your knowledge of mathematics. You will gain the numeracy skills needed to succeed in both employers’ numeracy tests and the workplace. It is designed to build your confidence.”

Smart Cities from Lorraine Hudson from Open University

“This free online course will help you to navigate your own path through the complex landscape of smart cities. You’ll hear from smart city innovators and entrepreneurs, city leaders, communities and business, connecting with learners from around the world to reflect on issues facing smart cities of different sizes and situations.”

Cracking Mechanics: Further Maths for Engineers from Laura Dickinson from Bristol University

“The aim of this free online course is to introduce you to some of the physics and maths that engineers find useful. The content comprises: parts of A-level maths and further maths (mechanics); the physical laws which this maths is used to model; and examples of how these skills are employed in mechanical, aerospace, civil, environmental, materials and electrical engineering.”

Talent 2030

For the third year the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) is running the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls. The competition is free to enter and is sponsored by Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy and PepsiCo, and run in partnership with Centrica.

For the chance to win £1000, we invite girls aged 11-18 to submit their ideas for ‘How can engineers solve the challenges of the 21st century?’, giving them the opportunity to explore engineering as well as winning some fantastic prizes. It will run from Monday 28th September until Friday 18th December and prizes will be awarded at the Big Bang Fair in March 2016 — for more information see the Talent 2030 website: