Towards Transformation: gender balance in STEMM Education

  • The Newton Academy class of 2018

The Newton Academy ā€“ the Science Club for Girls is a series of Saturday morning science and technology-themed workshops set up by the University of Lincoln in June 2014 to take girls on a 3-year scientific voyage of discovery. The Saturday Club consists of hands-on activities and projects, designed to work alongside the national curriculum, that aim to inspire and enthuse the next generation of female scientists and engineers

We believe that early engagement is the key to increasing the popularity of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) subjects among our girls. The Academy, therefore, aims to inspire 10–14 year olds in STEMM subjects – subjects that research shows they are less likely to pursue – opening their eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve, and encouraging them to consider post-16 study in STEM subjects… and ultimately, of course, to pursue science and technology careers.

During their three years, the Academy introduces the ‘Newton Girls’ to a wide range of science and technology subjects – from chemistry and bioscience, to mechanical and civil engineering, computer programming and mathematics. The ‘Newton Girls’ take part in projects that develop their confidence, their enthusiasm for STEMM, and essential problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They develop leadership skills and the confidence to challenge any preconceptions that may prevent them from pursuing and being successful in any STEMM field. But most of all, The Newton Academy aims to show young girls that science can be rewarding, challenging and fun!


The Newton Research

Over the next five years, we will begin to evaluate the long-term impact of our Newton Academy Science Club for Girls on girls’ confidence, attitudes to science, their perception of scientists, and ultimately, their willingness to pursue post-16 STEMM study and STEMM careers. 


What they're saying...

  • “The Newton Academy has been (and still is) an amazing experience for Ellise. She has thoroughly enjoyed all the experiments and opportunities she has been offered. It has inspired her to try different experiments at home and opened her eyes to the fact that more women are needed in science. She looks forward to the sessions. As a parent, I thank you for offering this fantastic opportunity for the girls. It makes Science fun and enjoyable. I am so pleased Ellise has been a part of it”  Parent (2017)
  • “This has been a really fantastic programme for my daughter. An excellent idea for stimulating interest in a fun way”  Parent (2016)
  • “Great to see them make new friends and have so much fun with science. A great way to challenge and inspire girls to explore opportunities in science. Great activities delivered by enthusiastic staff and students. Iona came back buzzing after making an amazing crystal garden”  Parents (2015)
  • “Newton is different from Science in school because they teach you in small groups and you have lots of fun”  Pupil (2015)
  • “I think that [Newton] has inspired me in a way that it will help me throughout secondary school and the rest of my life by building my confidence and all round fun”  Pupil (2014)
  • “I’d like to thank Professor Colston and the Newton team for their hard work and dedication in realising and delivering the Newton Academy.  My daughter Lucy has thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and is looking forward to next year.  She found the Newton programme exciting and particularly enjoyed the visit to the Big Bang Fair.  Her posters of Gaia and the Large Hadron Collider sit proudly on her bedroom wall (next to Olly Murs). As a parent, I feel that Newton does a great job of showing the girls that STEM subjects are not just for boys, and that girls too can become scientists, engineers, and astronauts”  Parent (2014)

Project Team

                              

Dr Nicole Fielding    Leila Lamoureux       Lynn Pickerell           Marina Constantinou

          

Prof Belinda Colston Prof Ian Abrahams

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