It's Different for Girls - Getting Girls into Science - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

It’s Different for Girls – Getting Girls into Science

| October 4, 2012 | 3 Comments

As you may know, I am a great supporter of the Science Sparks – a UK blog designed to make science fun, easy and interesting at home. And I was SO pleased for the ladies that write it, when they received The Best Innovative Blog award at The MADS on Friday. It is wonderful to see women and children involved in Sciences and being recognised for it.

I myself studied Physics at A-Levels – and was the ONLY girl in my class (which I enjoyed immensely!!) and then went on to study Mechanical Engineering. Again only about 8-10% of students were girls.

As a parent of both a boy AND girl, I really want both my children to enjoy all subjects at school. So I was really interested in seeing The Institute of Physic’s campaign promoting physics to young girls: ‘It’s Different for Girls’. Brilliant! Let’s indeed get our girls interested!

Why?

Studying physics doesn’t turn you into a geek in a lab coat. What did it do for me and my career/ life?

  • I believe that studying physics at A-Levels and then Engineering at universities opened up MANY job opportunities to me throughout my career – on the simplest level, people saw that I studied science, did well and thought “she must be bright, let’s bring her in for an interview”. Simple, I know, but effective.
  • I love understanding the environment around me – what is happening when I am on a roundabout with my children, why I won’t fall off a “The Ship” at a fair ground – being able to explain the basics to my children.
  • I find it handy to understand, what is happening when I am driving a car and why you should accelerate/ decelerate in curves? What happens to the grip of your tires in the rain? Making me a better and safer driver (I hope) and keep my family and me safe.
  • When playing sports understanding the effect of angles and force when hitting a ball, making sports not just intuitive but logical. Being able to explain this to my children when they hold a racket or bat or when they are trying to get a ball in a hoop…

Many areas of my life work (job interviews), playing, driving and sports have been influence by the fact that I liked, understood and studied physics. How can physics make YOUR life and your children’s lives better?

Find out how this Masterchef benefited from physics:

And how this World Class gymnast becomes a physicists.

What can you do?

Start talking to your children about their environment

Why are things the way they are? Why is jelly like jelly when cold and runny when hot (ok, that is a little bit of chemistry in there, but still)? Why does a roundabout make us feel like we are being pushed off? Why is it safer to drive more slowly? And what is the difference when a car hits you at 100mph vs 20mph? Why do gas filled balloons go up? Why do they come back down after a few days?

Talk to your school

Find our more about what your school has on offer in terms of  physics and science for girls? How long do they teach these subjects for? What percentage of girls take up physics? What can you do to support your girls? Find out more about the Influence of Schools on girls taking physics at A-Levels and How can senior leaders in school support girls?.

Visit the The Institute of Physics  website and look at the How can parent support the take up of A Level physics by girls!

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Comments (3)

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  1. Liz Burton says:

    Really interesting post and campaign.

    Shame I had a couple of boring old men teaching me science, I turned off completely.

    My brother is a science teacher, is area is astrophysics. I’m going to show him this! x

  2. Alison says:

    How interesting, I did a degree in physics as well and always found it fascinating. Like you I found there were not many girls on the course. I am pleased they are trying to get more girls into it at school.

  3. Red Ted Art says:

    Liz – ha, yes, some of my teachers were a little on the boring side, but lucky a couple of them were fabulous and taught my just at the right time to keep me interested! And they liked me, which helped. I think some physics teachers just don’t know what to do with girls!

    Alison – I certainly hope that both my kids (i.e. boy and girl) take an interest. Science Museum visits it is!

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