Women in STEM: Fighting the Stereotypes!
A host of fun activities aimed at promoting STEM subjects to girls and young women launches in Dundee today.
As part of Dundee Women’s Festival (Friday 5 to Sunday 14 March 2021) and International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March 2021), Dundee Science Centre is teaming up with women scientists at the University of Dundee to promote STEM subjects to younger children.
Open to all learners, the ‘Women in STEM’ activities will be available through Dundee Science Centre’s online Home Learning Programme throughout March, from extracting DNA from strawberries and bananas to making invisible ink messages with milk and revealing them using Irn-Bru™!
The free programme includes activities related to forensic science, telescopes and computing. The digital showcase also incorporates videos and profiles of different women working across different subjects from today and in days gone by, from those working in engineering and medicine to botany and art.
It is estimated that only 25% of the STEM sector are women. Despite boys and girls having an equal interest in science and technology, by the time girls enter their teen years their interest dramatically falls (regardless of the academic capability in science). Boys are more likely to pursue subjects such as physics, chemistry, engineering and computing. From the age of 15, young women have potentially limited their chances of working in STEM, often because they are often stereotyped into making certain choices.
Carlene Cura, Development and Fundraising Advisor, Dundee Science Centre said, “At Dundee Science Centre, we’re passionate about inspiring the younger generation in all-things science, whether that’s exploring how their computer game works, how plants and food grow or how their bodies function. By hooking their interest at an early age through fun experiments and games which children can enjoy at home, we can spark that sense of curiosity and encourage questioning, key skills for any modern-day scientist! We’ll also be shining a light on some women working within the city right now, jobs which children might not even view as ‘science’. By highlighting the fun and amazing jobs they do, we’re showing that science is relevant, has no limits and can be a brilliant career choice.”
Dr Amy Cameron, Public Engagement and Communications Officer, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee added, “We are delighted to be partnering with Dundee Science Centre to share the career stories and research of women in science at the University of Dundee. We hope everyone enjoys learning about the diverse range of STEM subjects from forensic science to astrophysics and plant science to psychology that these women work in. The one thing all these women have in common is their love of science, but their individual stories are unique to each of them. I hope that the activities and the career profiles inspire everyone to see that science can be for them and that there is not a specific type of person who becomes a scientist in any subject area.”
The ‘Women in STEM’ week is a partnership between Dundee Science Centre, University of Dundee (Schools of Life Sciences, Science and Engineering, Medicine, Social Sciences and the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science) and Dundee Women’s Festival.
For further information and to get involved, please visit Dundee Science Centre – Lifelong Learning & STEM Activities