• Question: why do you want to inspire girls to do science?

    Asked by Saniya to Vinita, Kirsty, Col Op, Charlie 🚀, Andrea on 24 Jun 2016.
    • Photo: Kirsty Lindsay

      Kirsty Lindsay answered on 24 Jun 2016:

      Science is awesome- and I want to show everyone, girls and boys, why it is so worthwhile and fun.

      Traditionally girls have not been encouraged at an early age to study science and maths, and research shows that girls think they are worse at science and maths than boys, even if they are not. This means they give up by the time they reach secondary school.

      Boys are traditionally encouraged away from caring roles, like being nurses and primary school teachers, and are told not to play with toys like dolls.

      I think this is terrible for boys and girls- it should be ok to play with dolls and study science, whoever you are, if that is what you want to do. I want to encourage people not to give up on themselves, especially before they have really had a chance to find out what they love best.

    • Photo: Andrea Boyd

      Andrea Boyd answered on 24 Jun 2016:

      Engineering (Not sure about science, as I don’t have personal experience working in it) is an awesome career! Everyone can be a part – it never gets boring and is always in demand in the jobs market! 😀

      There are tons of engineering jobs – you can make robots, make cars, do electronics, do rockets, build space stations, make trains, make ships, mine minerals, program microcontrollers, help the environment, automate the coke factory – anything you can imagine – engineers can build! 😀

    • Photo: Vinita Marwaha

      Vinita Marwaha answered on 26 Jun 2016:

      Hello Saniya and thanks for your question!

      Only 6% of UK engineering workforce are female, meaning that UK companies are missing out on almost 50% of their engineering talent. This is coupled with the fact that girls make up under 20% of students taking Physics A-level. My passion, and the goal of my website Rocket Women, is to try and reverse this trend by inspiring girls globally to consider a career in STEM.

      During my career I’ve met some amazing people — especially other positive female role models. I think you need those role models out there, tangible and visible, to be able to inspire the next generation of young girls to become astronauts, or be whatever they want to be. I started Rocket Women to give these women a voice and a platform to spread their advice. I’m interviewing women around the world in STEM, particularly in space, and posting the interviews on Rocket Women, along with advice to encourage girls to be involved in STEM.

      To encourage more girls to do science you also need to inspire them when they’re young. Girls at the age of 11 decide to leave STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), when they’re in an education system where the choice of subjects at school severely limits their options for working in other fields later. Girls need to be allowed to be creative and inquisitive from a young age, rather than being told to play with toys that are seen by many as more appropriate for young girls is key.

      Also, the capabilities of technology and science will only reach 50% of their potential if only 50% of the population take an interest at a young age and this is why it is so important to encourage young girls to pursue their interests in science.