Girls who just wanna have fun should explore science
University of Leicester Research Associate offers inspiration to encourage girls to explore SET subjects
Issued on 19 March 2010
A Research Associate from the Department of Physics and Astronomy was invited to give a talk at ‘SETting an example’, an event hosted by Snibston Discovery Park, aiming to inspire girls to pursue science, engineering and technology (SET) subjects; a field traditionally dominated by males.
Dr Rhaana Starling provided an insight into a career in astronomy during her talk which was delivered to 94 female year 9 students from Leicester and Nottingham at the one day event, where she provided an insight into the life of an astronomer, illustrated by her latest research into Gamma-Ray Bursts.
An overview of the qualifications needed to study Astrophysics and Space Science at university and typical career paths after higher education were also explored to inspire an interest into the science subjects amongst females, which was then followed by a workshop exploring the lifecycle of stars.
Dr Starling commented:
“Boys and girls are equally capable of doing valuable scientific research, yet females are underrepresented in the workplace in many areas including physics. There is clearly a need to find out why this happens, and to encourage young women to consider a career in the sciences, engineering and technology sectors.
“I was fascinated by the stars as a child, and was lucky enough to get to see the planet Jupiter through a telescope. It was such an impressive sight that it really inspired me to go into astronomy and I hope that contact with female scientists may help these young students choose their career paths, which is why I volunteer to speak at events like SETting an example.”
Following the success of Dr Starling’s talk and workshop, she has been approached to deliver a similar presentation to year 10 and 11 students at one of the schools attending the event and many of the year 9 pupils have expressed an interest in a career in the sciences as a result of Dr Starling’s encouragement.
For more information about the event, please visit the SETing an example website and for more information about encouraging females to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, visit the STEMgirls website.
Note to Newsdesks:
For more information, please contact Dr Rhaana Starling via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0116 223 1891.