Successful event aimed to encourage more girls to take up STEM subjects at GCSE
Almost 200 students attended a conference organised by Albion in the Community (AITC) that was aimed at encouraging more girls to study science, technology, engineering and maths at GCSE.
AITC’s Girls do STEM conference took place at the American Express Community Stadium and included presentations from a range of keynote speakers – all of whom were women working in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) focused roles.
The event was specifically targeted at female students in Year 8, with the hope of inspiring more girls to consider STEM subjects like computing, ICT or media when choosing their GCSEs options.
AITC has been delivering STEM-based programmes to students at local schools for a number of years and the charity worked in partnership with Warden Park Secondary Academy to plan and deliver the recent conference.
Other schools to take part included Davison CE High School for Girls, Felpham Community College, Hailsham Community College, King’s School Hove, Oathall Community College, Seahaven Academy, St Richard’s Catholic College, St Wilfrid’s Catholic School and The Burgess Hill Academy.
Rob Josephs, AITC’s curriculum development officer, was delighted with how the day went. He said: “It is widely acknowledged that STEM careers tend to be male-dominated – in fact, just 13% of the overall UK STEM workforce is female. It is important that young people realise that these subjects and exciting job roles are not just for men.
“We were fortunate enough to welcome inspirational speakers and ambassadors currently working in STEM roles across a range of different industries, including health, IT, construction, fashion, finance, technology and gaming.
“All the students who attended our event were incredibly enthusiastic and hopefully left inspired by what they heard. I would like to say thank you to everyone who gave up their time to support and encourage the future generation of female scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.”
Among the STEM ambassadors who took part in the day was Juliette Lucy, a technical engineer from Computacenter (UK) Ltd.
Speaking shortly after the event, they said: “It was an excellent day. The girls were really engaged and asked intelligent questions. We found that many of them are already inspired by their ICT and technology lessons and hopefully we managed to show the different sides and aspects of the world of IT.”
Following the success of the Girls do STEM, AITC now hopes to make the conference an annual event.