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Encouraging female students to take STEM subjects at A level

Hi!

I’m Steph and I’m a Sixth Form student who plans to pursue a career in engineering.

 

As the only (out of about 40 students total) female physics or further maths student in my Sixth Form, I am keen to encourage more GCSE students to take science subjects at A level. Speaking to some of them, a lot of them do not believe they are intelligent enough, even the top students in the class.

I am currently volunteering to help out with science lessons once a week but want to do more.


Does anyone have any ideas about how to encourage more students (particularly female students) to take science subjects at A level?

Thanks for any suggestions!
Parents
  • There are times when I wonder whether concerns about the lack of female students taking STEM subjects, as well as initiatives to encourage more to take them, verge on so called positive discrimination or even political correctness.


    At my college there were considerable disparities between the types of students taking different A Level subjects. Electronics was extremely male dominated, computing considerably so. At the same time the number of south Asian students studying a European foreign language was next to nothing and only a small handful studied history with most of them proposing to take a degree in law. South Asian students possibly outnumbered white British students in chemistry as many of them proposed to take a degree in medicine or pharmacy whereas English literature, and psychology were almost completely white British and heavily female dominated.


    There probably are good reasons deep down why students of different backgrounds or genders are attracted to or repulsed by particular A Level subjects. Unlike at GCSE level I'm not certain whether changing the course curriculum or style of assessment will have much effect at attracting students who previously wouldn't have considered them.
Reply
  • There are times when I wonder whether concerns about the lack of female students taking STEM subjects, as well as initiatives to encourage more to take them, verge on so called positive discrimination or even political correctness.


    At my college there were considerable disparities between the types of students taking different A Level subjects. Electronics was extremely male dominated, computing considerably so. At the same time the number of south Asian students studying a European foreign language was next to nothing and only a small handful studied history with most of them proposing to take a degree in law. South Asian students possibly outnumbered white British students in chemistry as many of them proposed to take a degree in medicine or pharmacy whereas English literature, and psychology were almost completely white British and heavily female dominated.


    There probably are good reasons deep down why students of different backgrounds or genders are attracted to or repulsed by particular A Level subjects. Unlike at GCSE level I'm not certain whether changing the course curriculum or style of assessment will have much effect at attracting students who previously wouldn't have considered them.
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