A special event was held at RNAS Culdrose over the weekend to inspire and empower young girls in Cornwall to explore careers in technology and engineering.

The Reach for the Sky festival, hosted by the TecGirls project, was conceived in response to the stark reality that girls in Cornwall have some of the lowest participation rates in tech and engineering across the country.

In Cornwall, only 4% of girls take computing science GCSEs and only 5% take design technology GCSE, significantly below the national average. This is despite the fact that technology and engineering are some of the most needed skills in the county and globally.

Reach for the Sky aimed to shine a spotlight on the potential of girls in Cornwall, encouraging them to pursue STEM careers. TecGirls, established in 2019 by the TecWomen CIC, has been dedicated to reversing the neglect faced by young girls in the south west. Since becoming a full-time operation in 2021, TecGirls has consistently delivered groundbreaking programmes, culminating in this unique festival.

pic credit: Bull and Wolf

The sold out festival welcomed over 600 people to RNAS Culdrose on Saturday, with all children offered a free ticket and a free lunch. Held in a giant hanger, the event was packed with hands-on activities for kids. It featured over 20 different workshops, including rocket launches, a make-your-own planet piano, 3D printers, Mars Rover robots, a VR zone, a paper plane competition, and the construction of a giant cardboard space village.

Caitlin Gould, founder and CEO of TecGirls, said: “Reach for the Sky was a game-changer! The energy, excitement, and enthusiasm from these young girls were off the charts. Watching them dive into tech and engineering with such passion was incredibly inspiring. This festival proved that Cornwall’s girls are ready to break barriers and soar to new heights in STEM. We’re just getting started – the future is bright, and we’re leading the charge!”