STEM Girls are everywhere! We were recently contacted by some amazing girls at the¬†University of Warwick, in conjunction with the University of Liverpool. They recently coordinated¬†a project to support women in STEM careers by running a competition in schools for 16/17 year¬†old female students. The winners were taken on an all-expenses paid visit to the European¬†Photon and Neutron Science Campus (EPN) in Grenoble, France,¬†where they met with inspirational scientists working there. Their trip included a visit to the XMaS¬†beamline (X-ray Magnetic Scattering) at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. They also¬†went to see the neutron research reactor at the Institut Laue-Langevin. Both ESRF and ILL are¬†world-leading research facilities, and would be a dream visit for any physicist.
To apply, candidates were asked to write an essay on ‚ÄòWhat is the legacy of Dorothy Hodgkin,¬†both on the study of structure on an atomic scale and for women in Science?‚Äô They were also¬†asked why they wanted to go on the trip. After they returned home, the girls gave presentations¬†on what they learned. Check out their site to see some awesome videos created by students¬†who attended the trip.
Below we‚Äôve included some of what the girls had to say about the trip and what they learned, as¬†well as what they would improve for future trips:
Michele: During my time in Grenoble I‚Äôve been able to learn about a wide spectrum of science I¬†would‚Äôve never normally been exposed too. The best thing about this trip has been speaking to¬†the female scientists at the ESRF and ILL‚Ä¶. . In conclusion I feel that this trip not only allowed¬†me to become more knowledgeable about science, but also allowed me to meet like-minded¬†people who I was able to strike up genuine friendships with. Most importantly I‚Äôve learnt that¬†being a women in science is not a hindrance but rather an asset. As Nichelle Nichols writes¬†(former NASA ambassador) ‚Äòscience is not a boy‚Äôs game, it‚Äôs not a girl‚Äôs game. It‚Äôs everyone‚Äôs¬†game‚Äô.
Anastasia: The trip made me more confident in pursuing my scientific aspirations as a female¬†scientist and helped me to see that STEM industries were open to females. I am more likely to¬†become a scientist because of this trip.
Amy: It‚Äôs been a fabulous opportunity that I feel privileged to have been chosen to go on and I¬†have loved every minute (including the extra ones!).
Misbah: Another part that I found really interesting was when we had the chance to speak to¬†different scientists. I found it amazing how passionate they were about their field of work- even¬†about the things that went wrong- as I do hope to be in their place one day speaking about¬†engineering.
Chloe: It was really helpful for me to see what a life is like as an international scientist and¬†talking to various scientists has helped me to confirm the path that I want to take and showed¬†me the career options that I have.
The project is currently being launched at Uppsala University in Sweden and they hope to¬†spread the project far and wide. What an exciting opportunity for these girls, and one we hope to¬†see many more girls experience! If you are a UK resident and would like to hear about¬†upcoming opportunities please visit¬†http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/outreach/grenoble2015¬†or
If you would like to get in touch, please contact Kayleigh Lampard for more details at Kayleigh.firstname.lastname@example.org.