Last Saturday, 26th September, I was invited to speak at the UK Greenlight For Girls (G4G) event, hosted by Imperial College. G4G is an international organisation dedicated to inspire girls to pursue STEM subjects, by introducing them to the world of science in fun and exciting ways.
The brilliant event at Imperial allowed 12 to 16 year old girls from local schools to become a scientist and engineer for the day. The event was organised by the fabulous Jess Wade, chair of Women in Physics and her committee of great girls. They are awesome and their passionate and dedication to inspiring girls into STEM is highly admirable and empowering; showcased through the days events.
Despite only being able to attend the last part of the day, it was wonderful arriving to see 200 girls donning lab coats and brimming with excitement at their day of activities. They spent the Saturday in and out of fun workshops and labs; including throwing beach balls to learn about particles, extracting strawberry DNA and learning about heterotopic ossification(!) to name just a minuscule amount of activities these girls managed to fit into their day.
By the time I made my speech, these girls were bursting with scientific knowledge. I really enjoyed speaking to them all about my journey into science, what my future aims are and of course talking about life as a University student, including the other side of academics (namely the Union)! Despite most girls being around GCSE age, they seemed very keen on applying to University and even more so when they found out just how much they could do during a degree. All in all, a talk well received including some kind feedback, which is great!
Me and my speech was followed by Sara Rankin, a Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial. Her line of research is fascinating and she gave an engaging talk about her life and journey into science as well as the work she is doing at the Centre for Blast Injury Studies.
Altogether, this huge outreach event proved to be a storming success and an excellent day encouraging and supporting girls into the STEM fields and celebrating the drive and charisma of women pursuing and fulfilling their ambitions.
If you would like to find out more about the event, the days workshops, speakers and the effort that went into planning the G4G day, please click here to read Jess’ post on her outreach blog, Making Physics Fun!