Ada Lovelace Day at BioCity inspires next generation of female STEM scientists

XenoGesis was invited to take part in an Ada Lovelace Day event hosted by BioCity on the 9th October 2018. Forty-five girls who are students at three Nottingham high schools attended the event to learn about the opportunities of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The event, run and coordinated by BioCity, Ignite! and Nottingham Trent University with support from the STEM Ambassador Hub at Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, was organised as part of Ada Lovelace Day – an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Nottinghamshire poet, Lord Byron, and is recognised as the first computer programmer for her revolutionary work on the analytical engine.

The all-girl group of Year 7 and 8 pupils from Farnborough Academy, Nottingham Free School and Nottingham Academy, took part in the session, which was designed to inform and encourage young women to get involved in STEM by showing them it is an accessible and appealing career path.

The event involved the students, aged between 11 and 13, taking part in exercises such as ‘draw a scientist’ and ‘people like me’ that illustrated that people with similar personality traits and skills are successful working in STEM and can be scientists, whilst challenging stereotypes surrounding who scientists are and what they look like.

The pupils were given a tour of BioCity and a demonstration of the Floss Whizzer – an invention which uses an air vortex to shoot clouds of candyfloss into the air at 60mph, as seen on The One Show and Gadget Man.Ada Lovelace Day

XenoGesis’ Liz Rendall was invited to join the event and host one of the tables of pupils where she was able to discuss her career as a scientist. Liz commented, “Only 23% of the workforce across the STEM industry are women and the UK has the lowest proportion of women in engineering across Europe. It is great to be involved in a day that aims to create new role models and encourage girls to consider STEM careers. The pupils were engaged and hopefully inspired by what they heard and saw, and I hope we see some of them joining businesses like XenoGesis in the future.”

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