Q&A students in STEM: Sophie
Careers in Science I think it is especially important for girls to get involved from a young age as all children have an innate curiosity, but many girls get turned off STEM subjects later on.
Why do you think it is important for girls to get involved in STEM activities from a young age?
I think it is especially important for girls to get involved from a young age as all children have an innate curiosity, but many girls get turned off STEM subjects later on. Getting involved early feeds their natural curiosity and allows girls to continue to discover the world around them into later life and make careers out of things they love.
What STEM linked activities have you been involved in while at Queen Anne's and how do you think they will shape the direction you follow after you leave?
"All the teachers are inspiring and are always willing to help out when we get stuck, and never let us quit just because something is difficult."
I have been involved in many trips and activities that have been put on here, such as the maths challenge, the UK Bebras challenge and activities put on by the science departments during Science week. These activities helped me to discover more of the subjects than are taught in the classroom, and have narrowed down the field of STEM I want to go into – Astrophysics.
How have the teachers at QA got you inspired about STEM?
Many of the teachers are really passionate about their subjects and so can easily give you extra knowledge around a subject or give you extra material in areas they know you might enjoy. They also can tell you stories of the time they worked in other areas of STEM before they started teaching, such as the precious metal industry or work in nuclear physics. It inspires me to look into various areas of STEM I wouldn’t have before and shows the diverse nature of the area.
What inspired you to become involved in STEM?
From a young age I loved looking at the stars but I never thought of it as a career I could do until I was part-way through my GCSEs and we got onto the topic of space in physics. The way the topic was taught and the areas my teacher showed me to research by myself really inspired me to look at this as a career that I could enjoy and be good at. At the start of my A-Level course, my physics teacher also gave me the school telescope that I could take home and fix up, allowing me to read into the various types of telescopes and maybe look at starting my own astronomy club at school.
How has Queen Anne’s school contributed to aiming high in an often male dominated culture?
Through my time at Queen Anne’s, all the teachers and assemblies tell us to find the thing we enjoy most, be it STEM or drama or sport etc, and to become trailblazers in our fields. All the teachers are inspiring and are always willing to help out when we get stuck, and never let us quit just because something is difficult. There is also a focus on trying out activities such as MUN and public speaking, with many opportunities to go to MUNs with other schools in our area and the London International MUN in November. There is never any limits put on us and we are pushed to be the best we can be in whatever we choose to do.