University event inspires girls to get into science

The University of Wolverhampton recently hosted girls from local schools to help inspire them to positively engage in science based subjects.

Over 50 10 and 11 year old girls from Newfield Park Primary School in Halesowen, Olive Hill Primary School in Dudley and Cradley Heath Church of England Primary School visited the University for a ‘Girls 4 Science’ event that focused on engaging them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects through interactive workshops and activities.

 

The visit was organised by staff from the Faculty of Education, Health & Wellbeing and the Faculty of Science & Engineering who put together a programme for the Year 6 pupils to experience science and a taster of university life.

The girls had the opportunity to look at how to design a building to survive an earthquake and studying the negative effects of microbeads in cosmetics to getting a taste of computer coding.  In addition to visiting the University’s state-of-the-art science laboratories, the girls learned how psychology can improve happiness and tried out the University’s two-way mirror as well as studying hand/eye co-ordination and optical illusions.

They also took part in an interactive demonstration of physics and chemistry, watching as staff from the University’s Science Shack mixed chemicals to create coloured liquids and bursting balloons with fire.

Josephine Cheng-Wilson, Psychology Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, said:  “Our main focus through this interactive event was to show girls that science isn’t all about lab coats and physics and chemistry.

“Women are under-represented across all fields of science, making up just 14.4% of the STEM workforce in the UK.  We are actively working with schools to bring girls into a higher education environment where they can see for themselves that you don’t have to be a boy to be interested in studying science.

“Events like these are instrumental in building confidence in girls in order that they can consider all of the options that are available to them when they think about choosing their career path.”

Kate Sharratt, Assistant Headteacher at Newfield Park Primary School, said: “We’ve noticed at school that there’s a real difference between the way boys and girls learn – particularly when studying STEM subjects. Girls tend not to be as confident in applying themselves in mixed classes and boys seem to be more dominant.

“Taking girls out of the mixed class environment seems to inspire them to consider options they might not have considered and gives them more opportunities to ask questions and explore science subject matter freely.

“The day’s events really inspired and engaged the girls – with one pupil determined to pursue her ambition of becoming a Marine Biologist!”

Anyone interested in studying at the University should check out the range of courses on the website: www.wlv.ac.uk.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 24th October 2016

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