St Mary’s students visit Silverstone to drive interest in STEM careers
Year 6 students from St Mary’s School in Cambridge visited the Silverstone Interactive Museum at the end of January where they immersed themselves in exciting exhibits and gained an insight into the different types of careers that are open to them when studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.
Upon arrival at the world-famous racetrack, students were taken on a guided tour of the museum, which included the chance to get hands on with fascinating display items. There was the opportunity to walk parts of the track, giving students a driving seat view into the world of motor racing. The museum team spoke to students about the history of Silverstone, including its use as an air base in WW2. Students also learned about the evolving technologies which are helping to make faster and safer vehicles.
The trip combined both fun and learning and was designed to increase pupils’ knowledge of the science of motor racing and how studying STEM subjects can lead to diverse, exciting career pathways that they might not have considered. The Silverstone team also spoke to students about the industry’s aim to be more inclusive and diverse – specifically focusing on the drive to attract more women into the sector.
The world of motor racing has historically been dominated by men – but that’s changing, with more women taking part in the sport and working behind the scenes. Starting in 2023, Formula 1 is set to launch an all-female driver category – the F1 Academy, to develop and prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition – including W Series, Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3. There are also numerous initiatives underway across the sector, such as Girls on Track, which are actively inspiring girls to consider the world of motor racing as a career – whether that’s as a driver, a mechanic, an engineer, or a team principle.
Jane Frebairn, Junior School Teacher at St Mary’s School, said:
“Our Year 6 pupils had a thrilling day at Silverstone. It was an insightful and inspiring way to open the girls’ eyes to the world of motor racing and show them the wide variety of careers that are available to them through studying STEM subjects. Encouraging girls to develop a lifelong passion for STEM is something we vehemently champion at St Mary’s. The number of women studying a science-based subject at university is increasing, which is a sign that the work teachers are doing in primary and secondary education is having an impact. Currently, 35% of STEM students in higher education in the UK are women - but more work in this area is required. Trips like this encourage our students to think outside the box and aim high.”