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An evaluation of a project aimed at increasing participation of young women in STEM activities and training in Wales

Alison Glover, Stuart Harries, Martin Jones

Abstract


This case study reports on the delivery and impact of a European Union funded project in Wales. STEM Cymru 2 encourages participation in engineering activities and improvements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills for young people aged between 11 and 19 years. Five different activities are delivered, including one which directly targets females aged 12-16 years to raise awareness of study and career opportunities in this field. An independent evaluation of the project was conducted, with a sample of participants and school representatives consulted individually and in focus groups. The evaluation discovered that female participants and their teachers welcomed female only activities which contributed to challenging stereotypes, resulting in reports of improvement in confidence, and increased awareness of related higher education courses and career routes. Female participants also reported improvement in transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving following engagement with project activities. Another achievement for the project included female participants delivering Science and Technology activities and acting as role models for younger females in their school following their engagement with the project.


Keywords


Female; stereotype; careers; engineering; technology; STEM

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