Dundee Science Centre

Girl Guiding to a STEM Career

Over 150 Dundee Brownies, Rainbows and Guides gained an insight into the countless careers in STEM during a special event at Dundee Science Centre.

Held on Friday 8 March, International Women’s Day, the event gave youngsters aged six to 14 a chance to enjoy a range of exciting activities and exhibits exploring everything from fossils and bats to the way mammals communicate.

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Images supplied by Dundee Science Centre.

Coinciding with Dundee Women’s Festival, which runs from 2-17 March 2024, the celebration also gave youngsters the chance to engage with STEM ambassadors from the Universities of St Andrews and Abertay as well as Strawbees, who taught them how to code straw robots.

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The girls also heard a fascinating presentation from Dundonian climate scientist Dr Rebecca Wade of Abertay University, who recently returned from a voyage to Antarctica.

Dr Wade was one of 88 women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) on the Homeward Bound voyage late last year.  The leadership programme allowed Dr Wade to observe the effects of global warming on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean up close, witnessing how increasing temperatures are changing the face of the frozen continent visited by the crew of Dundee’s own RRS Discovery over a century ago.

The Girl Guides heard Dr Wade relay her experiences witnessing avalanches, glaciers, icebergs and ice formations as well as jaw-dropping encounters with the area’s wildlife, from orcas, humpback whales and penguins to albatross.

Dr Wade explained, “It’s so important that women, girls, and all underrepresented groups see people like themselves working in areas where we still have gender inequality. Our planet has some big challenges ahead, and we need all voices represented at decision-making tables and in the workforce. We make better decisions when we have better representation.

“I hope the Guides left feeling informed, inspired and excited for their future, encouraged to follow a STEM path, and aware that they have an important role to play in helping us all work towards a more sustainable future. I’m grateful to the Guides, their leaders and all of the helpers for coming along and making it such a successful event.”

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Lorraine Lemon, Head of Business Development at Dundee Science Centre commented, “It was wonderful to host this event for Girl Guides and to open their eyes to the opportunities that lie ahead. Although numbers are growing, women make up just 30% of the STEM workforce in the UK so we hope this event will inspire young girls to pursue these sorts of careers and provide them with local, accessible female role models.”

The event was funded by Scottish Government and is part of Dundee Science Centre’s ongoing commitment to promoting STEM education and careers. The organisation offers a variety of programmes and activities for learners of all ages to engage in both in-centre and online.

For more information, visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk