Monday, 30 June 2014

A passion for Science.


I think I always wanted to be a scientist. I was that child that actually paid attention in year 8 science lessons and I recall receiving many Christmas presents revolving around being able to don a white lab coat. Of course one of the first things that ignited a passion for chemistry was CSI (I think everyone wants to be a forensic scientist after watching it.), and I spent hours making a clay model of a 'criminals' face, decorating the house in 'CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS' yellow tape, and forcing people to let me take their fingerprints to analyse. Of course none of them had murdered anyone, but it excited me none the less.

I also remember receiving my first chemistry set and being amazed by the colour of copper sulphate. I think it still amazes me to this day. Anyway, as I got older I pulled away from science a bit, I just felt that I wasn't suited to it, I didn't feel intelligent or 'male' enough. There is  no doubt that STEM fields are dominated by males and this absolutely terrified me to the point where I decided that I had to think of an alternative career path. I was quite a creative child and I would spend countless hours drawing and painting. When I reached the age of 16 and I had to make the decision of which A levels to choose, I thought 'Whatever, I'm going to do what I enjoy, I don't care if I'm the only girl' and it worked out. I realised that by doing science subjects I could incorporate my innate creativity into something that I loved, and so I became a chemist.

I fully understand the role of gender stereotypes preventing girls going into STEM related fields; we're often told to be hairdressers or nurses instead of doctors because 'girls are supposed to be nurses'. You will most probably be aware that Lego have designed a range of 'Female Scientist' toys, which are absolutely fabulous. They aim to address gender gaps in children's toys and encourage more young girls to be interested in science. I for one really love them, I think that inspiring children when they're younger and keeping that ambition alive will really be the key to reducing gender gaps in science and creating a new generation of fabulous female scientists and engineers.

Here is the link to an article by the Guardian on Lego's new designs
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