Many girls are not choosing to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at A-level and university. We wanted to find out why certain subjects get a thumbs-down…
Credits: Gettyimages Around 40,000 jobs in STEM – that’s science, technology, engineering and maths – are left vacant in the UK each year. To make matters worse, women in science-based jobs are leaving, frustrated with sexism, bias and the lack of opportunities for progression. It’s going to be difficult to replace these women in the years to come because fewer girls than boys are studying core sciences at schools, colleges and universities.
At A-level, just 19 per cent of girls choose two STEM subjects, compared to 33 per cent of boys. Maths and physics fare particularly poorly: last year 59,270 boys took A-level maths, compared to 38,357 girls; and 29,422 boys took physics, compared to 8,384 girls.
On the eve of International Women in Science Day on 11 February, we wanted find out exactly what it is that’s putting girls off studying some of these subjects, and what can be done to stop them turning away. We surveyed around 100 readers of Girl Talk, a magazine with a readership of girls aged 7 to 11, to find out what they think about their science lessons.
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