Sunderland girls get taste of RAF life

Female students visit RAF Leeming as part of the National Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scheme. Neethu Manoj and Sharon Pious.
Female students visit RAF Leeming as part of the National Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scheme. Neethu Manoj and Sharon Pious.
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Two Wearside girls have spent some of their summer holiday experiencing life in the RAF.

  Neethu Manoj and Sharon Pious, from St Anthony’s Academy in Sunderland, joined year 10 girls from across the country for an insight into the Royal Air Force science and engineering trades.

Sharon Pious with Wing Commander Mark Doney

Sharon Pious with Wing Commander Mark Doney

 The four-day residential course at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, gave the 15 and 16-

ar-olds a taste of RAF life.

 The girls tried wiring a tent with lighting, changing the wheel of a Land Rover and conducting functional checks on out-of-service Tornado GR4 jets. There was even the opportunity to try out welding.

 Squadron Leader Glyn Dean has been working on programmes to encourage more girls and ethnic groups into STEM careers

Neethu Manoh with Wing Commander Mark Doney

Neethu Manoh with Wing Commander Mark Doney

 She said: “The RAF has an aspiration for our work force to be more reflective of the society we serve – and that means better representation from females and different ethnicities”.

 Neethu said: “I wanted to see what different engineering jobs are available in the RAF. I have really enjoyed this week.”

 Sharon added: “We don’t have much experience with engineering in school and took the opportunity so I could learn more about RAF engineering.”

I thought this week was really good and enjoyed getting to sit in the Tornado and controlling the wing movements.”

Sqn Ldr Dean concluded: “There is a strong business case to get women into under-represented STEM areas – particularly engineering. I tell the girls to milk the experience for all its worth, because why shouldn’t it be them?”