Ridley-Ellis, Daniel (2008) Promoting the science and engineering of timber to children. Proceedings of the 10th World Conference on Timber Engineering, Miyazaki 2008.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
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The UK’s young people are generally very poorly informed about the opportunities that exist for them in wood science and timber engineering, and commonly perceive the sector to be old-fashioned, unrewarding, environmentally damaging, and requiring of physical strength and endurance over intelligence and soft-skills. This has negative consequences for future recruitment into education, training and employment. This paper examines the attitudes school children have towards the forest and timber industries and ways in which misconceptions can be effectively challenged. Because the sector is currently male dominated, the paper looks at how recommended practice for engaging girls in science and technology can be applied to the wood chain. The paper covers the application of new media approaches for engaging with a hard-to-reach audience and presents the findings of experimental, and inexpensive, ventures of this type.
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