Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Queen Anne’s in the News
Thursday 6th December 2018
Mrs Harrington, Headmistress of Queen Anne’s School, spoke to online publication, Media Planet: Your Future Career, about why and how, it’s time to break the ‘male’ science stereotype.
“The fact is, we don’t just need ‘more women in science’. We need lots of different women in lots of different areas of science.” Mrs Harrington explained.
And this is certainly true, considering that, in 2017, only 23% of people in core STEM occupations were women, and that only 1% of parents would recommend engineering as a future career to their daughters.
Media Planet also spoke to four Queen Anne’s girls about their passions for STEM, their career ambitions, and how they feel as a woman aspiring to work in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics.
Abby, who was selected to go on a STEM tour in the US and work with NASA, spoke about how important female role models in science are:
“I found it really important, only three women out of the 50 employees I met on the STEM tour were women. I felt that I needed to see this and it has motivated me to pursue a somewhat ‘trailblazing career’.” Abby explains.
This motivation spurred her to found Queen Anne’s Science Club, to inspire younger girls to pursue their passions in STEM.
Isobel, who studies Computer Science at A Level, has a real passion for technology. She has completed many IT courses, including the GCHQ CyberFirst security course, Apps for Good, and was one of the first in the world to be awarded the Silver iDEA Award.
“Speakers that have come to the school, such as some of the women who work at Volume, an experiential AI company, have been key in opening my eyes to the possible career options in the world and helping me focus on the aspects of STEM that interest me.” said Isobel.
“To me, I don’t see our “male-dominated” culture as an issue, I see it as a challenge.”
Vicky has a true talent for mathematics, and is fascinated by how scientists use mathematics in other science subjects, such as quantum physics. She has completed many mathematics challenges, including BMC, BMO and Bebra, and was particularly inspired by a Maths Inspiration Talk by Dr Hugh Hunt.
“I discovered how interesting and elegant maths can be outside the textbooks. I strengthened my determination in taking the lifelong path of mathematics.” exclaims Vicky.
Vicky has taken advantage of all the resources and opportunities available at Queen Anne’s School to really embrace her passion for mathematics:
“At Queen Anne’s, we are encouraged to do whatever subjects we are interested in and be gutsy. Why not?”
Sophie, who has been mesmerised by the stars and planets from a young age, wants to pursue a career in Astrophysics, and plans to start up a Queen Anne’s Astronomy Club.
“I think it is especially important for girls to get involved from a young age as all children have an innate curiosity, but many girls get turned off STEM subjects later on.” explains Sophie.
She tells Media Planet how her teachers at Queen Anne’s always went the extra mile to help her pursue her love for science, including letting her borrow the school telescopes.
“All the teachers are inspiring and are always willing to help out when we get stuck, and never let us quit just because something is difficult.”