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Schoolgirls encouraged to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths by three high-flying women visiting Westonbirt School

PUBLISHED: 10:33 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:33 09 March 2016

L-R: Dr Susanne Klein, world champion cyclist Katy Curd, and aerobatic display pilot Lauren Richardson at Westonbirt School's STEM day

L-R: Dr Susanne Klein, world champion cyclist Katy Curd, and aerobatic display pilot Lauren Richardson at Westonbirt School's STEM day


Aerobatic flyer Lauren Richardson, physicist Dr Susanne Klein, and 4X World Champion cyclist Katy Curd used their passion for planes and bicycles to inspire girls at the school’s STEM day.

Lauren, one of the top acrobatic display pilots in the UK, talked to 150 pupils from Westonbirt and Sir William Romney’s in Tetbury about flying and her career as an engineer. And Katy, who counts nine British titles and 17 World Cup podiums among her host of cycling wins, helped Susanne demonstrate the physics of gravity on her mountain bike.

Susanne, who is doing blue sky research in optical cryptography at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said it was important to encourage young women to choose exciting careers in STEM subjects.

“There’s a myth that science is harder than other topics, such as languages, and not as creative as art but that isn’t true. Good scientists have to be creative and they have to be good communicators,” she said.

Representatives from Dyson, Ecotricity, Imeche, and Atkins Global attended the science fair.

Westonbirt Headmistress Natasha Dangerfield said: “The application of any learning supports the process of education. Days like this are an excellent way of bringing science to life and developing a level of understanding not always possible in a significantly shorter lesson,” she said. “We are delighted to have had a variety of companies with us who I know support this type of day but also recognise the importance of putting physics and science into context and showing the potential for careers beyond school.”


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