Nearly 200 Year 9 girls converged on Downshire School on the 26th of April 2016 for a Women in STEM Programme. They were bussed in from Carrickfergus College, Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus Grammar and from Downshire School itself.
Business and the government have found that the uptake of STEM subjects at GCSE, A-Level and University is insufficient to meet the demand for STEM qualified employees, so it has become vitally important to encourage pupils to follow these areas of study. And girls are statistically less likely to pursue careers in STEM areas. So the Women in STEM programme was developed to introduce pupils to the world of STEM and especially work at breaking down the stereotypes that push girls away from STEM.
Therefore the girls arrived at Downshire School on the 26th in two groups – 100 before lunch and 100 after lunch. In each session we spent an hour doing a number of innovative activities about the subjects and careers of STEM and then the girls got involved in an exciting design, build and test project where they made rockets and shot them around the hall – with a competition at the end to determine the highest launch.