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'Girls in STEM' Extravaganza

‘Girls in STEM’ Extravaganza


It was lovely to welcome girls from South Gosforth First, Mowden Hall and Holystone Primary school to join Westfield pupils at our annual ‘Girls in STEM’ Extravaganza.


The girls took part in practical activities including ‘Creative Chemistry’, ‘Street Science’ and ‘Brain Olympics’, a fun psychology challenge testing various brain functions.


A key part of the event was a talk from a female scientist who explained what her role is and the impact she makes to improve the world we live in. This year we were delighted to welcome Dr Eleanor Starkey from Newcastle University, a leading research scientist in the field of Hydrology and Climate Change. Her role is particularly relevant and interesting right now as currently, parts of the North of England have suffered greatly from the effects of flooding.


In addition, the girls received an interesting talk from Mr Simon Keightley, an engineer from Northern Powergrid and found out more about careers within engineering and try on equipment actually used when handling high voltage electricity.


Why do we feel so passionate about delivering a day like this and why is it focused on STEM?

At Westfield, we recognise the value of inspiring girls in every way, whether it be in literature, music, art or sport, but we are particularly keen to encourage girls to consider pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.  


STEM jobs are increasing and they provide exciting careers, excellent employment prospects and good rates of pay.   However, girls are often reluctant to pursue STEM careers, particularly in traditionally male professions such as Engineering (only 6% of the UK Engineering workforce is female and 49% of state secondary schools do not have any girls studying A-level Physics). 


Research suggests that by age 10 or 11 a significant proportion of girls have decided that a ‘STEM’ career isn’t for them.


All the girls had a fantastic time at the final feedback session it was lovely to hear so many lovely comments from the girls and we feel confident that we have inspired them to view STEM subjects in a positive way.