STEM Careers Carousel Inspires PGHS Students to Explore Boundless Opportunities

On the 29th of February 2024, Penwortham Girls’ High School annual Careers Carousel unfolded as a pivotal event during our STEM Festival, illuminating pathways to future success for our Year 10 and Year 11 students. Over 20 dedicated professionals from diverse STEM fields graciously volunteered their time to share insights and expertise, igniting a spark of curiosity and ambition in our students.

The carousel offered a dynamic rotation through various STEM sectors, allowing students to gain first-hand knowledge from industry experts. From engineering marvels to the intricate world of organometallic chemistry, from the innovative realm of radiotherapy to the strategic domain of logistics, our students were exposed to a broad spectrum of STEM-related careers. Moreover, they delved into the profound impact of mathematics within the insurance industry, as well as the boundless opportunities within the higher education sector.

The feedback from our students was resoundingly positive, with many expressing gratitude for the eye-opening experience. The insights gained during the carousel have prompted profound reflections on their future career paths. Indeed, many students are now re-evaluating their options, buoyed by a new found awareness of the diverse opportunities awaiting them in the world of STEM.

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering dedication of our STEM Ambassadors, who generously shared their time, expertise and passion for their respective fields. Their commitment to nurturing the next generation of STEM leaders has left an indelible mark on our students, empowering them to envision a future brimming with possibilities.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all our STEM Ambassadors for their invaluable contributions to the success of the Careers Carousel. Your selflessness and dedication have not only enlightened our students but have also inspired them to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination. We are deeply grateful for your efforts and the impact that you have made on our school community.

As we look to the future, we are filled with optimism and excitement, knowing that our students are equipped with the knowledge, inspiration and resilience to chart their own paths towards success in the vibrant world of STEM.

Mr D Knee

Teacher of Science

Many thanks to our STEM Ambassadors who supported the event:

Demi Jordan – Mace Group. International Consultancy and Construction Firm. 

David Nuttall – Engineering Manager at Leyland Trucks.

Peter Fisher – Retired BOE Engineer and Retired naval Engineer

Jenna Hartnett – Pricing Analyst for Covea/Vitality Insurance. 

Simon Bourne – Key Account Manager at TGW Logistics 

Sarah Seaton – Project Director at School Rebuilding, Department of Education 

Justin Rawcliffe – Project Director at School Rebuilding, Department of Education 

Sergey Zlatogorsky – Chemistry Lecturer at University of Central Lancashire

Laura Littlefair – Northumbria University

Dr Peter Tipping – Engineer, LC Auxetec

Chandni Asher-Vardey – Network Rail

Iain Scott Ferguson – Network Rail

Simon Close – ForexClear

Shelley Shuttleworth – Radiotherapy Practice Educator at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.

Steven Rawlinson – SISK Building Contractors

Sharon Leary – Serconnect Ltd

Amanda Winter – Microbiologist and Technical Team Manager for BSI

Susan Jones – Social Value Manager at Mac Roofing

Nicola Parkinson – Head of People at Eric Wright Group

Michelle Faulkner – Facilities Manager at Eric Wright FM

Katheryn Wood – BAE Systems Head Office

STEM Festival Jam Tarts Competition

This week, Year 7 and Year 8 students entered Miss Scott’s STEM Festival Jam Tarts Competition. After learning about the science behind making the perfect shortcrust pastry, students were challenged to make 6 perfect jam tarts. The competition saw may students entering and the competition was very high.  The judges were Mrs Hall, Miss Scott, Mrs Moss and Mrs Bennet. The quality of the jam tarts blew them away!

1st prize went to Evelyn B Y7       

2nd prize went to Alice T Y7         

3rd prize went to  Evie S and Ella B Y7.

Prizes and certificates will he handed out in assembly next week.

Miss Scott

Lead Teacher of Food Preparation and Nutrition

Lancashire Farm Education Centre

This week, Year 9 and Year 10 students attended Lancashire Farm Education Centre in Croston to learn all about Intensive Farming. 

PGHS students visited a working dairy farm and during the visit, students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of food processing and production on an intensive dairy farm. The activities at the farm were developed around the school curriculum.  There was a warm welcome at the farm from Farmer Elaine and her husband, Paul. Students had a tour of the farm, learning all about the cows, their diets, how they are looked after, how the farm is run and all the machinery they use, such as the milking robots and ‘Bob’ the silage feeder.

Students were then asked to go around the farm independently to answer all the questions on the quiz to see what they could remember. After lunch, students learnt about primary and secondary production and had a go at making their own butter – which was very yummy!  Students also completed a ‘milking’ challenge, filling buckets with water from the rubber teats used to feed the calves. Elaine gave us a tour of the fields and students learnt about the importance of nature, soil and grass in food production.

All the students enjoyed themselves thoroughly, especially being able to stroke the calves! The trip was a great success, with everyone thoroughly involved in all aspects of the trip!

Miss Scott

Lead Teacher of Food Preparation and Nutrition

Faraday Challenge Day – February 21st 2024

Last week, all Year 8 students were involved in a fantastic STEM day, taking part in the IET Faraday Engineering Challenge. The challenge gave the students the opportunity to create a solution for a real-world challenge, based this year on designing an attraction for a UK theme park. The students worked in teams of 5 or 6 and each person in the group had a specific role, such as a project manager and an accountant, as well as a visual designer and a manufacturing engineer.  They had to include electronics in their designs and even had to do an engineering apprenticeship in order to complete the day. All students participated really well, and the outcomes were very impressive. Year 8 can be credited on their positive attitudes and great behaviour on the day; there are definitely some potential engineers within the year group and it will be exciting to see where it takes them in the future.

Mrs M Moss

Curriculum Coordinator of Design & Technology

‘If you were an Engineer what would you do?’ Leaders Award Competition

During the STEM Festival, Year 9 will be taking part in the ‘If you were an Engineer what would you do?’ Leaders Award competition.

The competition will be challenging students from primary and secondary schools to identify a problem and design a creative solution to it and add a letter explaining why an engineer should choose to build it. As part of the competition, they are required to interview engineers to understand more about the problems they solve and the role they play in society.

Every student that enters will have their idea read and graded by an engineer. All our students will receive certificates and shortlisted entries will be put forward to a panel where the best ideas will be celebrated at an awards event and public exhibition in the summer term. Whilst this is a national exhibition, the awards and exhibitions are regional so you will be able to see the ideas from across the region. More can be found on the competition website

One extraordinary part of the competition is that every year, university teams choose an idea from the shortlisted entries to build!

We entered the competition for the first time in 2022 and the school had great success having two highly commended entries and also the two winners for year 10 for Lancashire. A tough act to follow, but we know year 9 will be up for the challenge!

Mrs Goodwill

Science Department

The Chase

As part of the STEM Festival, students will again get a chance to take part in ‘The Chase’. Each year group has put a team of five to take on one of the ‘Chasers’, testing their science, technology, engineering and maths knowledge. Back by popular demand is Mr Dean, hosting again in the Bradley Walsh role. 

The Chase is a great opportunity to promote STEM within the school whilst giving students the chance to take on their teachers. Keep an eye on the school newsletter to find out how each team gets on.

Mr Coogan

Science Teacher

PGHS STEM Festival

The annual STEM festival is in full swing with a plethora of activities taking place to give an insight into the opportunities that STEM related subjects can bring to our students as they move through their lives and their careers.

Year 7 students will be learning and researching in Science about careers within the NHS as well as enjoying the delights of a visiting planetarium, learning about the events resulting in the formation of the universe as well as the ongoing NASA, Artemis mission. In Maths students will be developing their everyday budgeting skills as well as taking part in a food bake off challenge in Food Technology.

Year 8 students will be honing their engineering skills as they take on the nationally acclaimed Faraday challenge; this will include problem solving, designing and practical making skills hosted by Design Technology. In Music, students will take place in a workshop showing the benefits of music therapy while learning about careers within the NHS during Science. In Maths students will be developing their everyday budgeting skills along with developing their code breaking skills.

Year 9 students will be taking part in a variety of challenges in Maths including the Runshaw Maths Challenge and a special escape room challenge. In Science they will be entering the ‘Who wants to be an engineer’ competition, submitting a design to solve an everyday problem, students will also get the opportunity to do some ‘chemical cookery’ making tasty treats using the application of Science. Some Year 9s will also get the opportunity to visit Lancashire Teaching Farm.

Year 10 Students will learn about the history and importance of code breaking with a virtual visit to Bletchley Park, whilst Y11 students will learn about the Bank of England during their Maths lessons. Both Year 10 and Year 11 students will get the opportunity to meet professionals from a variety of STEM related careers during our STEM Career’s Carousel finding out about potential career pathways related to STEM.

Throughout the festival, those of a competitive nature can take part in the STEM festival Jam tart competition as well as the PGHS version of the popular game show ‘The Chase’. A STEM related Open Mic event will be taking place as well as an African Colour (Red, Green, Black and Yellow) themed non-uniform day to raise money for a school building project in Kenya.

Mr Knee

Science Department


In STEM club this year, year 7 students have been given the opportunity to plan and deliver some exciting sessions for our local feeder primary schools. Students have taken a well-known fairy tale and built an exciting STEM session, which involves primary children solving a problem based on the story. The sessions are intended to teach younger children about STEM and the careers involved.  It allows them to work as a team to solve a problem, by designing and creating a prototype.

The students look forward to visiting Cop Lane Primary before the end of the summer term, to deliver their STEM sessions and to inspire and enthuse some younger children about STEM.

Mrs Freer

Textiles / STEM

Robotics Challenge

On the 21st April, a group of Year 8 and 9 students from STEM club, were invited to take part in a regional heat for the 2022 Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge. It was held at Preston’s College iSTEM building and hosted by some amazing STEM ambassadors that were on hand to help and advise our students.  

We have been working on the challenge for a number of months. There are many different tasks involved. The students have to build and programme a Lego robot to perform numerous challenges. These include a speed challenge, a ramp challenge and even a challenge following coloured lines to collect objects.

The students were amazing at rising to the occasion and programming the robot, even adapting the code when it didn’t quite work out. Check out the video of our robot on our twitter page!  

Another big part of the day is the blind teamwork challenge. The students were challenged with creating the slowest marble run out of 4 paper plates, 4 paper cups, 1 roll of masking tape and 1 pair of scissors. Their design was innovative and well constructed. This lead to them winning this particular section and winning the trophy.

Sadly, on the day, we were not able to become overall winners, but had a great time and received some good feedback from the judges. The students showed incredible resilience and determination to complete the challenges set.

Great work, STEM Club! 

Mr Dean

STEM Festival

PGHS STEM FESTIVAL 28th February – 11th March 2022

Read all about our events and school visits that took place during our STEM festival in our STEM festival newsletter:

  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award
  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award