Educational Outreach during Social Distancing

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Senior Engineer Cate Anthony has been continuing her work with the wider engineering community through Inspiring the Future, the Women’s Engineering Society and the British Tunnelling Society Young Members. Below she discusses her experiences and some of the techniques she is using to maintain her efforts engaging people in engineering.

“Shortly before the Covid-19 outbreak I travelled to St Mary Cray Primary School to participate in their ‘Women in STEM’ event. It is a small school not too far from home and the children were simply delightful. I participated in a whole-school assembly.” During lockdown Cate’s time was immensely brightened by the handmade card she received from the children in the school (image right). “It’s a lovely gesture and showed me that the children were discussing tunnelling after I’d left, which is really great!”

“One of the things I am able to easily continue is the work I have been doing through the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and the Wellcome trust drafting Wikipedia articles for lesser known women in STEM. It’s been a real pleasure having the time to delve into the lives of some of the pioneers within our industry who really pushed the boundaries and didn’t accept that a career in STEM wasn’t for women! Drafting Wikipedia articles is simple. It’s important to be accurate and to have references for the information in your articles. I have found inspiration from women who haven’t received the reignition they deserve to date, there have been so many pioneers and leaders in our field that I never knew about. There are strict criteria for having a Wikipedia article written about you and the WES Centenary writes only about deceased women.”

This Tuesday, Cate also gave a webinar to the WES community about tunnelling. The society involves women in many different industries, and Cate has loved spending her evenings learning about the challenges faced in other engineering sectors. “It was a privilege to give a window into our industry and what we do.”

The British Tunnelling Society Young Members (BTSYM) continues to carry out its monthly lectures online through its YouTube channel. Cate says: “I am hoping to be able to give a lecture for them in June that sadly we weren’t able to give when the BTSYM Conference was cancelled in March.”

“You would think that social distancing and schools being closed would mean that this work becomes a lot harder, but actually I’ve found it almost less challenging to meet people and to plan events. There are loads of brilliant online platforms for young people encouraging them into engineering too!”

Well done Cate – a great effort helping to inspire the engineers of our future!