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
  • Hi Steph

    My experience has been that many people of school age respond well to practical experience to show that students can do more than they think they can.

    The suggestion to engage with the local STEM hub is excellent. This is where you can start:
    https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors/local-stem-ambassador-hubs

    Depending on the type of engineering, activities can be found. For the computer/electronics/... community it is possible to buy for a relatively modest amount easy to use programming boards such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino. They can quickly be made to do something useful (not just turning lights on and off).


    The IET also has excellent resources for secondary schools. https://education.theiet.org/secondary/

    These are not just for teachers to use. Pupils can also use some of them independently.


    Certainly some kind of engineering club helps. Your local STEM team will help to think about that.

    Finally, think about hobbies, what the interests are. If there are musicians in your group, you can but musical instrument kits, which may or may not be thought of as engineering, but then modifying, improving and adapting stretches the engineering mind.


    Engineers are problem solvers, so finding a problem to solve is more inspiring that working in the abstract.


    I hope some of this helps


    Peter M
Reply
  • Hi Steph

    My experience has been that many people of school age respond well to practical experience to show that students can do more than they think they can.

    The suggestion to engage with the local STEM hub is excellent. This is where you can start:
    https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors/local-stem-ambassador-hubs

    Depending on the type of engineering, activities can be found. For the computer/electronics/... community it is possible to buy for a relatively modest amount easy to use programming boards such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino. They can quickly be made to do something useful (not just turning lights on and off).


    The IET also has excellent resources for secondary schools. https://education.theiet.org/secondary/

    These are not just for teachers to use. Pupils can also use some of them independently.


    Certainly some kind of engineering club helps. Your local STEM team will help to think about that.

    Finally, think about hobbies, what the interests are. If there are musicians in your group, you can but musical instrument kits, which may or may not be thought of as engineering, but then modifying, improving and adapting stretches the engineering mind.


    Engineers are problem solvers, so finding a problem to solve is more inspiring that working in the abstract.


    I hope some of this helps


    Peter M
Children