This year has been fantastic one for WISE! We held our very first collaborative event with oSTEM and BEaMS, continued our ‘WISE Inspire!’ Speaker series, expanded our award winning outreach scheme and collaborated more than ever.
By far our biggest event of the year, in collaboration with oSTEM and BEaMS, was Equal in STEM 2020. This conference style event consisted of multiple panels which discussed barriers that people may face in STEM and how they could be overcome through working together. Panels included: ‘Parenthood in STEM’, ‘Expectations of Role-models in STEM’, ‘How to be a Good Advocate and Ally’ and ‘Mental Health in STEM’. 13 speakers from various fields, backgrounds and career stages got involved to discuss these themes, and 171 people registered for the event including UoB students, pupils from local schools, STEM professionals from other institutions and a variety of STEM professionals from Birmingham. It was hugely successful thanks to our committee, our sponsor Caterpillar and the amazing oSTEM and BEaMS. The new WISE committee hopes to make this a yearly event.
We also held another ‘WISE Inspire!’ in Term 1. This was an informal evening of pizza and drinks where speakers talked about their careers in STEM and chatted to our members.
Our award winning outreach scheme has expanded this year so that another local school could get involved! This has been made possible due to our hard working volunteers and outreach officers, and the generous alumni impact fund – a huge thank you goes out to them. This means our outreach scheme now runs in three schools across Birmingham, with over 60 volunteers. We’ve run more coding and engineering based activities this year, and hope to continue to expand the scheme in the future. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, committee members have also been making our outreach available online for schools to use, so that we can continue to have an impact on students in the community.
Collaborations with societies across campus was fantastic this year. We had a great time both academically and socially and thoroughly enjoyed all the events. In collab with Poynting Physical Society (PPS) and MathSoc, we kicked off the year with a Careers event involving a huge range of companies. We also worked with Women in Finance to bring together three Accenture focused career events – our lead sponsor this year. As well as this, oSTEM and BEaMS were fantastic in the organising of the conference and we had a great time raising money at an open mic night for Climate Coalition with PPS and thoroughly enjoyed a Selly Oak bar crawl with Neuroscience.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing sponsors and members! We can’t wait to continue and build on this year’s successes, to continue to dismantle barriers in STEM, provide role models for pupils in the community, and initiate collaboration across campus.
We ended the year with our annual AGM and have welcomed in the new committee of 2020/21:
Chair: Paige Ramsden
Vice-Chair: Dorottya Tényi
Secretary: Sarah Lloyd
Outreach Officers: Alice Rutter-Eley, Ellie Wigg and Weronika Wiesiołek
Engineering Rep: Verity Page