Formula 1 stint & time at Futures sees student follow electrician father.

Weeks spent completing work experience with Formula One initially led to Jenniphier Williams studying to become a motorsport engineer.

Which is when she then realised that it was her electrician father’s footsteps she wanted to follow.

The 19-year-old has now switched to an electrical engineering course and hopes her story will encourage other women to see that gender is not a barrier when it comes to pursuing a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) career.

She reveals how her passion for STEM was honed during her time at Futures Institute Banbury and she realised how important these subjects and the skills she acquired are essential and vital in trades that have an impact on our everyday lives.

Dr Cat Pickup, Director of Project-based Learning at Futures Institute, said: ‘’Futures is a very inclusive environment where girls can excel in STEM subjects.

‘’With project based learning in core project lessons we encourage links with industry and take up exciting opportunities which target the inclusion of girls in STEM. In Year 7 ATL lessons we are currently designing 3D solutions to world problems. This is one of the projects that appeals to students who care about important world issues.

‘’We have designs for ‘helping buttons’ solar powered cars, prosthetic eyes etc. The winning invention will be 3D printed in our creator space. When introducing 3D printing, Alex, one of our students, mentioned that her sister had done 3D printing with her F1 placement. Jenniphier very kindly stepped forward from helping her sister’s home learning to presenting to an entranced class. Definitely our best learning at home lesson!’’

JenniphierJenniphier’s story:

‘’I was in Year 10 at Futures Institute (I left in 2016) when I completed my work experience at Formula One. At the time my dad, who is an electrician, did the electrical side of maintenance for Formula One so I sent in an email and asked for work experience. I was thrilled when I was offered a placement.

‘’I was made to feel welcome and at the time there were a lot of females working for F1.

‘’I noticed that the teams at F1 are split into a design side and a practical/model side. I was placed with the model workshop which focused on the technical matters involving Formula one.

‘’It was here that I saw how 3D printing is used to create Formula One cars which was impressive. The team were kind enough to create a helmet, using a 3D printer, with my name on it which was cool.

‘’I completed work experience with F1 throughout my Easter and summer holidays.’’

Jenniphier left Futures Institute in 2016 to begin a Motorsport Engineering course at Banbury & Bicester College.

However, two years later she realised she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. She explained how a childhood spent helping him with his various electrical jobs made her realise becoming an electrician would be far more rewarding than working for an F1 team.

She said: ‘’Growing up, my dad was always working on something new and he would always say ‘come up and help me and if you don’t know what you’re doing, I’ll show you.’

‘’When you’re working for Formula One, you can spend years working on a car only to see them crash in a matter of minutes.

‘’I find being an electrician to be much more rewarding – I’m specialising in a trade that people need and I’m going in to people’s homes to help make them safe.’’

Commenting on her upbringing and her experiences, Jenniphier said as far as she is concerned gender does not hold you back from doing a job in the 21st century.

She said: ‘’No one can say that your gender holds you back, I think that is no longer the case. I think the only person that holds you back is yourself.

‘’Whether you have a male electrician or a female electrician, they will both be able to do the job.’’

As for her decision to switch to an Electrical Engineering course, Jenniphier (who has deferred for a year because of Covid-19) said she is walking proof: ‘’There is not a checklist to life and it’s ok to change your mind as you go along.’’

This article was originally published by Aspirations 

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