Last week, Bedford Girls’ School (BGS) welcomed over 100 female students from Mark Rutherford, Goldington Academy and Castle Newnham schools for STEM Ambassador training workshops. Delivered by Neil Atkins of Rubbish Science as part of the schools local Physics Partners partnership, the purpose of the workshops was to challenge and engage students with the world and wonder of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
In the morning, Rubbish Science worked with year 12 students on challenging stereotypes, building resilience and confidence as STEM communicators. The students participated in various activities from pulling the tablecloth from under beakers of water to matchbox drops and making fishing lines from plastic bags. During the afternoon sessions, sixth formers then passed these skills onto the year 9 students, who then ran sessions with years 6 and 7 students.
Year 12 BGS student, Sabira Egan, said: “Mr Atkins was very engaging, interesting and relatable to us. We learnt about resilience and thinking flaws and the idea of failure and whether it matters to fail.”
Frances Pinsent, head of science at Mark Rutherford School, commented: “It was great to see the sixth formers feeling proud of the year 9 students they had trained and for them to see the immediate impact of their work.”
Mrs Smart, head of science at BGS added: “It was fantastic to see so many female students from all over Bedford working together and sharing their love of STEM with younger girls. Most importantly encouraging them to have the confidence and resilience to follow a path into the career path of their choice, and not be influenced by the gender stereotype threats that unfortunately are still often all too present in society today.”