EU photonics project gets thousands of girls in STEM: Page 2 of 2

June 20, 2019 //By Julien Happich
photonics
Thousands of young women and girls have had the chance to explore the world of science, engineering, and light technologies thanks to a European photonics research consortium that has created their girls in STEM ecosystem, a series of 33 workshops and 11 Photonics Challenger projects across 10 European countries in a bid to tackle the under-representation of women in science.

The researchers have targeted three age categories with workshops aimed at high school girls (Young Minds), female university students (Students) and women who may have already started their careers (Young Professionals 18+).

One of the results of the PhabLabs 4.0 project has been the publication of a new booklet, A Gender Balanced Approach as a guide to future Fabrication Laboratories so that organisers in schools or universities can use it as a reference to gain the interest of girls and young women in science and technology.

By creating gender-sensitive material for the workshops and “Photonics Challenger Projects” the organisers have garnered the interest of girls and young women in science, to generate a lasting impact on their personal relation to STEM and Fab Labs. Supported by the Gender Action Team, the developers have had the backing of the European Commission with funding from Horizon 2020, and support from a number of professionals such as Professor Averil MacDonald from WISE (Women in Science and Engineering).

“Girls and young women are more likely to consider studying STEM subjects beyond age 16 if they see that the subject keeps their options open”, said Professor MacDonald.

“The STEM sectors can only benefit from the talents of these young women. More girls and young women deserve the chance to have successful and satisfying careers in science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, mathematics and construction”. The resources are available as an open resource toolkit for educators to use with their students.

PhabLabs - www.phablabs.eu


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