New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Attracting Women into STEM Studies – Girls Camps for School Students

Mona-Christin Maaß, Georg-August-University Göttingen (Germany)

Thomas Waitz, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry Education, Tammannstrasse 4, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany)

Abstract

Female students are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies in many European countries [1]. For this reason, the project “Girls Camps – Career opportunities in chemistry and physics” was initiated to attract female high school students into Bachelor programs of chemistry and physics. The project concept were four-day science camps which are presented in this article. Center stage was given to an activating, professional and supportive learning environment and to female chemists or physicists at the beginning of their careers, since research studies showed that learning experiences and “role models are decisive for female students’ choice of studies” [1]. During the camps, school students thus attended a course at the XLAB – experimental laboratory for young people, in which they performed experiments with advanced laboratory equipment and got rapid assistance only when required, and visited female scientists at the university as well as in companies. To prepare those for their important mission as role models, they had received a special training in advance. The evaluation of the first camp revealed that school students especially appreciated the hands-on experience at the XLAB and the conversations with the role models about their work-life balance.

 

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