This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Encouraging girls to pursue Science
ScienceGirls forms part of the Commission’s Science Learning Innovation Agenda, contributing through its gender-sensitive approaches to the practical experimentation of building new directions for science learning and engagement, and developing attractive practical guidance for secondary schools across Europe.
The girls’ encounter with a desirable (“cool”) “science femininity” seems particularly important for enabling them to see science as a “thinkable” identity that is also an intelligible gender identity. Indeed, as Buck et al. (2008) discuss, young women (eighth graders) were only able to value female scientist role models when they were also able to relate to them as women on some level.
ScienceGirls would like to find out how to make science more attractive to girls in school. When we say “science” we mean mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. In ScienceGirls, we believe that it is not the girls that should change, but science! Science has always been taught in school in very old-fashioned ways, often boring and with little connection to real life, particularly the life of young girls.
Furness Academy is a secondary school at the heart of the community in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. In September 2013 we opened our new £22 million building. This is a fantastic environment for students to learn in, offering them state of the art equipment and facilities to enhance their education.
At Furness Academy, learning is at the heart of what we do. We are confident Furness Academy provides a welcoming and safe environment for all children. Our core values of respect, responsibility and relationships underpin all our efforts to ensure that all students have the greatest opportunity to achieve their best. These core values are shown each day in the way we communicate with one another, how we teach our students and importantly, how we encourage our students in their learning. We want our students to leave Furness Academy as confident learners with the skills, knowledge and qualifications that they need to succeed in the 21st century and contribute to their community and be active global citizens. At Furness Academy, we are proud of our place at the heart of the Barrow Community. Our main aim is to aspire together, work together and achieve together so that our children can accomplish all of their goals. We believe that by working together we give our students the best opportunity to become the best they can be.
Furness Academy also has the privilege of being located just 20 minutes south of the Lake District. Our town and local area is surrounded by beautiful scenery from high mountains to sandy beaches. Our community and charity links are incredible strong and we are proudly expanding our links across Europe as we begin our work with our European project partners.
Around 50+ girls from very different countries will be working with the project for 2 years.