Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) outreach
In the School of Chemistry we recognise the importance of encouraging and inspiring the next generation of female scientists in a traditionally male-dominated subject. We are involved in a variety of events that aim to help school students make informed decisions about careers in science and also give the students a chance to meet science role models and learn from their experiences.
We participate in Skirting Science, which gives year 9 girls from schools in North Somerset and Bristol an opportunity to explore various STEMM careers through hands-on workshops. In 2018 our workshop focussed on interesting and intriguing chemical experiments using things you can find at home to show how you can relate the structures of molecules to their colours smells and reactions.
With funding from the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) we have also developed a booklet to accompany this workshop which can aid teachers and non-science specialists in running the experiments themselves and allow more students the chance to experience some hands-on chemistry using everyday items.
University of Bristol Women in STEMM Event
The school of chemistry participates in the University’s annual Women in STEMM event. Last year the event was held on Friday 1st December in the Wills Memorial Building. Over 100 year 8 and 9 pupils from 10 local schools attended.
We took part in the demonstration fair, inviting pupils to participate in a range of activities investigating the density of different household liquids and illustrating how density is used in chemical synthesis with liquid-liquid extraction.
We also gave an interactive talk which included a series of show stopper experiments exploring luminescence, including its use in glowsticks, forensics and by marine creatures. Students also had the opportunity to ask the female scientists doing the demonstrations questions about their experiences as a scientist.
Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Find out how you can get involved on the Soapbox Science website.
The following external resources may be of interest to staff wishing to learn more about outreach:
- The School of Chemistry's Outreach pages
- RSC Diversity Landscape of the Chemical Sciences Report