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Academics help inspire the next generation of female scientists

Press release issued: 30 April 2010

University of Bristol academics will be providing school pupils in the region with a unique insight into their careers at 'Skirting Science', an event that aims to give local schoolgirls a taste of how stimulating and rewarding a job in science can be.

University of Bristol academics will be providing school pupils in the region with a unique insight into their careers at 'Skirting Science', an event that aims to give local schoolgirls a taste of how stimulating and rewarding a job in science can be.

Ever decreasing numbers of women are choosing careers in science. While teenagers know about careers in medicine and veterinary science, they are generally unaware of alternative and equally stimulating jobs in other areas that require a scientific background.

The aim of the ‘Skirting Science’ event is to introduce teenage schoolgirls in the South West to enthusiastic scientists and open their eyes to the career opportunities available to them.

Hosted by Wyvern Community School in Weston-super-Mare, the event will involve around 250 female pupils from 12 schools across the region. Pupils will be able to take part in a day of hands-on workshops held by a range of commercial and academic organisations to communicate their passion for science to the next generation of women.

Mrs Judith Mee, head teacher at Wyvern Community School, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the event for a second year.  Only 12 per cent of university engineering students are female and it’s time we took practical steps to turn this around.  Last year the girls were genuinely inspired by the ‘Skirting Science’ event."

“This year, we expect more children from more of the region’s schools to come along and we hope to inspire a good number of them to consider careers in science and engineering. 

'Skirting Science’ began in 2009 as a joint initiative between Soroptimists International, a worldwide organisation for career women, Wyvern Community School, and North Somerset Independent and State School Partnership.

Ruth Thomas of Soroptimist International, said: “As an organisation that represents professional women, we are keen to encourage female pupils to study science.

“Women now outnumber men in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science at undergraduate level.  This is perhaps because the communications aspect of those careers is more obvious than in, say, mechanical engineering.  I believe ‘Skirting Science’ exposes girls to the fact that women can contribute significantly to every branch of science.”

The event, which involves academics from the University’s School of Chemistry [Bristol ChemLabS],  the Departments of Physics, Engineering Mathematics and Physiology and Pharmacology [AIMS CETL] and supported by the Centre for Public Engagement, takes place on Friday 30 April at Wyvern Community School in Weston-super-Mare.

 

 

Further information

Please contact Caroline Clancy for further information.