Have you heard of the “squashed tomatoes challenge”?
And just how does this inspire a whole new generation of engineers?
Meet Siew Ping, Chartered Structural Engineer and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador:
“In my role as senior structural engineer at Hampshire County Council Property Services, I deliver engineering design and Building Information Management (BIM) modelling for educational, municipal buildings. It is very satisfying to see people move into and use a building I have engineered.
I am also passionate about STEM: it’s an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, key skills can be developed, including problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, independent thinking, initiative and digital literacy.
I started to volunteer at STEM events and became the Institute of Civil Engineers (Wales) Science Ambassador for the “Bridge to Schools” initiative when I was a graduate engineer. Now a STEM Ambassador, I really enjoy encouraging younger generations to study maths and science so they can see what a fantastic career path those subjects lead to.
One of the STEM events I attended was held on 8 March – International Women’s Day. Roughly 120 female students aged 11-14 participated from various schools. One of the STEM activities is the “squashed tomatoes challenge” where students are tasked to build a transporting system to transfer tomatoes from a mountain with k’nex pieces. Students often come up with lots of fabulous ideas and solutions, inspiring each other to get interested in STEM.
Why do I love STEM events?
It’s not just a one-way interaction or contribution, but two-way learning for both the students and the ambassadors. Whilst we are sharing our experience and knowledge with students, we are getting some creative and innovative ideas from the students that both challenge and inspire us.”
Meet more of our team at Property Services