Women and girls in science

8 February 2021

Did you know that 11 February is International Women and Girls in Science Day? And that next month, we celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8)? These are the perfect prompts to introduce your class to some of the world’s inspirational female scientists.

Many women and girls continue to feel excluded from participating fully in STEM subjects; long-standing biases and gender stereotypes still steer them away from science-related fields. But there are a growing number of stories being told to inspire and enthuse our young learners, and an increasing bank of online resources to support lessons and learning.

Why not use our Ogden Phizzi focus to help you navigate some of the resources available? It is full of ideas, suggestions and useful links to enable young learners to find out about some of the inspirational female figures in physics, many of which could be used to support remote learning during the lockdown.

“We have seen the impact and influence of science across the world throughout the current pandemic," says Amanda Poole, Ogden lead for resource development. "And female scientists have been instrumental in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”

“Motivating and engaging our young scientists feels more important than ever,” continues Amanda. “Sharing the achievements and stories of others can help to create inspiring role models - it is so important that all children see that physics can be for them. We hope that our Phizzi focus will inspire primary teachers to explore women in physics with their classes.”

You will also find inspirational female physicists in our research cards. Why not take a look? You can learn more about Willie Hobbs Moore, Dr Claudia Alexander, Dr Maddie Aderin-Pocock and Mildred Dresselhaus.

A new set of cards dedicated to female physicists will be coming soon.

You could also look at STEM Sisters: a Year 5/6 arts-based STEM project, supported by the Trust, which celebrates the achievements, discoveries and stories of pioneering historical female mathematicians and scientists.

HDMT Music and STEM Sisters logo

Global event: Women scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 online from Paris, France, 11 February 2021

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an awakening in many ways. It has clearly demonstrated the ingenuity of women researchers and their critical role in different stages of the fight against COVID 19, from advancing the knowledge on the virus to developing techniques for testing and finally the vaccine against the virus.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant negative impact on women scientists, particularly affecting those at early-career stages, thus widening of the existing gender gap in science. This, again, reveals gender disparities in the scientific system which need to be addressed by new policies, initiatives and mechanisms to support women and girls in science. This roundtable will gather experts working in fields related to the pandemic from different parts of the world.

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