Celebrating female physicists
Published: 5 March 2021
This Monday (8 March) is International Women’s Day: a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as a continuing call to action for accelerating gender parity. The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge’.
A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So let’s all #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021
Why not use #IWD2021 as a springboard to challenge the stereotypes, defy gender biases and defeat discrimination that holds women and girls back in STEM fields? Let’s celebrate science and help inspire our future physicists.
The Ogden Trust has developed a series of research cards for primary schools (and KS3) celebrating women in physics. The cards features some amazing current female physicists and fabulous physicists from the past to inspire and engage young scientists.
Dr Yolanda Ohene
Our new Phizzi professional series also available on our resources page and gives an insight into just a few of the career paths taken with physics as part of that journey. We will keep adding to the series, so follow us @ogdentrust for updates. We have also created an editable pdf template so you can share stories of some of the inspirational people you might know in your area or linked to your school.
Our Ogden Phizzi focus will help you navigate even more of the resources available online to celebrate and showcase women in STEM; it is full of ideas, suggestions and useful links.
“Talking about women in physics can be difficult in primary schools and with younger Key Stage 3 students. Many of the historical contributions that women physicists have made are hidden, and other work involves some quite abstract concepts,” says Amanda Poole, Ogden lead for resource development. “These new research cards showcase just some of the incredible physicists – past and present – looking at how they are working scientifically and how they are contributing to our understanding of the world around us.
“We want to inspire teachers to explore women in physics with their classes and to see the incredible journey that physics can take you on – it is so important that all children see that physics is for everyone,” adds Amanda. “International Women’s day is the perfect opportunity to make time to start conversations about gender bias and help all young scientists believe that physics is for them. We hope our resources will help.”
“For more than 30 years there has been very little change in the proportion of girls studying physics post-16. This is a pressing issue of social equality, justice, and mobility. Currently, only around 20% of students progressing on to A-level are girls, and around 30% of Scottish higher physics students are female.”
Source: Institute of Physics
The IOP is proactively tackling the gender imbalance through education research, partnerships, and work in schools. You can find out more about their projects and research on the IOP website – including their new Limit Less is a campaign to support young people to change the world and fulfil their potential by doing physics.
Source: Institute of Physics