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Pupils project to change perception of women in engineering 

Woodmill High School pupils created a device that can detect debris on a runway.

Reporting by Ryan Maher

A group of girls from a Fife high school have developed a unique aircraft in an attempt to encourage more women to take up careers in engineering.

The 15-year-old pupils from Woodmill High School in Dunfermline were challenged by aerospace company Leonardo to create a device that can detect debris on a runway - technology that would prevent punctures on larger planes.

Having worked on the machine for six months, it was showcased at the Leonardo factory in Edinburgh to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

It's hoped the experience will change the perception of engineering for females and encourage them to see a future in the industry.

Jade Moffat, a pupil at Woodmill, said: "Before, I just looked at engineering thinking 'it's more of a boy thing'.

"When I looked into it and we've been doing this, I've realised there's a lot more to it.

"People think engineers; you will see them wearing hard hats and overalls, when really it's different."

Olivia Burley attended Woodmill and since leaving has started an apprenticeship with Leonardo as a manufacturing technician.

After working with the girls throughout the project, she hopes she can inspire the next generation of female engineers.

She said: "It's really encouraging for me because I feel like I want to do a better job when I'm here and it shows that they've got an inspiration in a way.

"Because I went to the same school as them I was able to relate. I wanted to do something to change the stereotype of what girls can do."

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