On Tuesday 9th October, it was Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology and maths, which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for girls studying STEM. To celebrate, we partnered with BioCity, NTU, the DEBP STEM ambassador hub and Futures to run a careers event for year 7 and 8 girls from Nottingham schools.
45 pupils from Nottingham Academy, Farnborough Academy and The Nottingham Free School listened to talks from women working in a variety of STEM-related jobs in the city, both academic and commercial. Chiletam Ogbu, undergraduate student at NTU, Billie Crowe, scientist at Azotic Technologies, Lorna Duffy, scientist at Sygnature Discovery and Yvonne Barnett, Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at NTU all delivered inspiring talks about how they got to where they are today.
Pupils then worked with scientists to complete a careers personality quiz, which showed them the kinds of job roles they might be suited to in the future. They also interviewed scientists and gave a presentation about them to the rest of the conference room. Pupils then took part in a demonstration of the 'Floss Whizzer', a candy floss machine which spins at 60mph.
We asked pupils at the beginning and the end of the event how much they agreed with the statement 'I feel inspired by science'. We found that 1/3 of the pupils felt more inspired (ie. there was a shift from 'no' and 'maybe' to 'maybe' and 'yes') and at the end 92% of the pupils agreed strongly with the statement (vs. 62% at the beginning). This is really encouraging and we're looking forward to working in partnership again to do more of these kinds of events.