While the participants might arrive wide-eyed and not knowing anyone, after the first evening there is a hum of energy from everyone starting to get to know each other, and by the end of the week, it is just like what you would see on a recruit course, with close bonds forming.
The Air Force works closely with industry partners, so it boosts the whole aviation sector to have more women in these careers, and even if the young women look to take up careers in other STEM industries outside the sector, that is still considered to be a positive outcome.
Nanotechnologist and science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson, known as Nanogirl, also spends time with the students during the week. She inspires the group to think about experiments they could do based on the work they had been doing on the base, including principles of flight.
Then, in teams, they participate in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style event, proposing their experiments, how they would work and how they could be taught to a younger audience. This supports the students to become influencers in their community.