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NIE Networks inspiring young females to worldwide success in engineering


Wednesday 1 February 2023

NIE Networks inspiring young females to worldwide success in engineering Each year NIE Networks participate in the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge which is a global STEM programme for teams of young people, encouraging an interest in real world themes and developing key skills that are crucial for their future careers.

The Challenge encourages young people work together to explore a given topic and to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO® robot to solve a series of missions.

Kellie Cowan, 11kV Network Development Engineer at NIE Networks mentored the Wallace High School team ‘Chrispy Bob’.  Kellie helped to guide the team to victory in the Northern Ireland regional finals in W5, securing a place in the International Open held in Brazil in August of this year.

The Lego League International Open consists of three intense days of robotics under the theme of ‘Cargo connect’ focussing on the transport of goods across the world. 

The young people had to design and programme a robot which would complete a series of cargo themed challenges across the table, collecting as many points as they could in a set period of time. The competition also included a presentation on an innovation project created by the team and group challenge with a team from another part of the world. 

Kellie commented on the importance of inspiring young girls in particular into traditionally male orientated sectors: 

“It is particularly important to me that the next generation of young females are encouraged into engineering. The Lego League is a fantastic way to showcase the career opportunities that are available and to also have a lot of fun along the way. 

The nine strong group from Wallace High consisted of six boys and three girls and I am glad to report that as a returning mentor for the 2023 season, we have recruited even more girls to join the team! 

Having a female mentor only further encourages the girls to think that they can have a fulfilling and successful career in what’s typically a male dominated field and sparked discussions with me about my own career to date and how they can follow the same path. 

I am confident these girls will be the next generation of female leaders.” 

Wednesday 1 February 2023

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