Schoolgirls discover why STEM subjects are a wise career choice

Swansea University has hosted a Discover Club for year nine schoolgirls, to encourage them to consider future careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and construction subject areas

STEM - Discover Club 

The six-week scheme was organised by Careers Wales West in partnership with Women into Science, Engineering and Construction (WISE) and was coordinated by Dr Victoria Hobson, a marine biology researcher at the College of Science.

Twenty of the city’s most promising female science pupils, their parents, and school staff were welcomed to the University at the start of the scheme by Professor Rory Wilson, zoologist and chief scientific advisor for National Geographic’s Great Migrations series and Professor of Geography and Queen’s Polar Medal winner Tavi Murray.

Throughout the six-week programme, they participated in workshops offering a wide range of fun science and engineering activities, including designing and constructing model bridges, getting to grips with glaciology by building glaciers to discover what makes them flow at different rates, and how to monitor the wildlife we can’t immediately see.

The pupils also used forensic science techniques to investigate a ‘whodunit-style’ murder scenario, as well as learning about genetics through the activity of extracting DNA from strawberries.  Dr Victoria Hobson, the scheme’s co-ordinator at Swansea University said: “The hands-on activities programme was designed to encourage these pupils to consider careers in STEM areas and to help dispel gender stereotypes.

“We have such excellent and enthusiastic female scientists and engineers at the University and giving the pupils the opportunity to meet such dynamic role models was very important.

“The project, which was a great success, demonstrated that whatever your background or gender, science careers can be both incredibly varied and fantastically rewarding.”

Read the coverage by the  Evening Post .

Image caption: Dr Sarah Forbes-Robertson, Sports Science Researcher at Swansea University with two of the Discover Club participants Catrin Harris and Harriet Boughey, with their DNA model made from marshmallows.

This news item has been posted for the College of Science by Bethan Evans, Swansea University Public Relations Office, Tel: 01792 295049 or email: b.w.evans@swansea.ac.uk