PEOPLE LIKE ME
Enabling girls to picture themselves in a STEM career
People Like Me is a revolutionary resource for teachers, STEM ambassadors, careers advisers and others working with young people to show girls that people just like them are happy and successful working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
GSA schools helped to road-test the resource – produced by The WISE Campaign – and went on to help produce the materials currently available to schools across the UK.
Passing it on to more teachers & more girls
Teachers in GSA schools receive bespoke training to equip them not only to deliver People Like Me to girls in their own and other schools, but also to become fully trained and licensed to take that knowledge to other teachers in their own and neighbouring state schools.
Mayfield School: People Like Me Event 17 October 2017
On the 17th October, we held our first “People Like Me” STEM event for girls and their parents in Year 8. “People Like Me” has been devised by WISE, a campaign that inspires girls and women to study and build careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The emphasis of the evening was to encourage younger girls to recognise the importance of a science qualification to careers they may not immediately recognise as needing one, dispelling myths and stereotypes and realising the skills they learn in Science at school are transferable to a broad range of careers. As part of the preparation for the event, girls identified their personal qualities by completing a questionnaire and on the evening itself they attended three talks which were the most closely related to these qualities.
We were incredibly grateful to our alumnae body, the Old Cornelians, who came back to Mayfield to take part in this event. Among the 10 alumnae speakers were an aeronautical engineer, equine vet, pharmacologist, flood risk manager, town planner and science writer. Proof, if it were needed, of our historic and ongoing success in educating and encouraging girls to succeed in roles that are often considered stereotypically a male preserve. Mayfield girls identify strongly with Mayfield alumnae and hearing past generations share their experience, success, wisdom and advice with some of our youngest girls was incredibly inspiring and made the careers somehow more tangible.
While Mayfield girls choose to study a broad range of subjects with eclectic combinations such as Physics and English and Maths and Ceramics reflecting the diversity and individuality of our girls, it is still vitally important to us that we embrace any scheme that can help to maximise the number of girls who see the potential to be happy and successful working in a wide range of businesses and organisations.
Talks were punctuated with animated audience participation, and the evening created a buzz, which followed speakers, girls, parents and staff out of the School as the event finished. We very much look forward to the next time, to continuing to educate girls to realise the broad spectrum of roles and endless possibilities that STEM subjects provide for the future.