The University of Adelaide's Inspiring Women Program has been connecting girls and STEM activities since 2021.
Before girls get to high school, many have already ruled STEM opportunities out for future careers. Despite the attempt to avoid the concept of gender specific careers, girls still associate the world of maths and science with boys. Girls’ Future – Our Future also found girls as young as six draw this association, however a report published by the Office of the Chief Scientist found there is actually no gender difference in mathematics ability.
Australian girls have one of the lowest rates of STEM involvement in the Western world. One of the most common misconceptions of studying STEM is that the subjects lack creativity.
The Inspiring Women program looks to change the face of STEM engagement in younger girls by engaging primary school girls in a range of activities.
We aim to engage and empower young women in primary school by offering a range of hands-on creative STEM activities. This approach will give the participants a broad range of experiences and expose them to the diverse opportunities available from choosing a STEM path.
We conducted our first pilot of the Inspiring Women program in 2021 with incredible results! Each year since, we have been invited 60 girls to campus to engage in a mulit-touchpoint hands-on STEM program.
We offer our participating schools regular workshops on our North Terrace campus each focusing on a different theme and area of S-T-E-M. Each year the activities are reviewed and refined based on teacher and student feedback to ensure the most engaging and empowering program possible. At the end of the program, a graduation is held for the participants, as well as their teachers and parents. Students are presented with a certificate and meet with current students of the University studying STEM to hear about all the exciting things you can do when you follow a path into STEM.
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