Breaking Stereotypes In Stem Careers: A Call For Change
According to Teach First, pupils from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may not envision themselves pursuing STEM fields, perceiving it as something beyond their reach.
In a recent eye-opening article by The Guardian, it sheds light on the prevailing misconception that children from disadvantaged backgrounds in England and Wales often rule out STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. According to Teach First, pupils from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may not envision themselves pursuing STEM fields, perceiving it as something beyond their reach.
We reached out to Sally Wilkinson, the driving force behind the Nuffield Research Placements (NRP) project at the North East STEM Hub, delivered by RTC North, to share her insights on this matter.
Sally emphasises, "This is precisely the myth our STEM Team is dedicated to eliminate through the Nuffield Research Placements. We aim to showcase, through transformative experiences like NRP, that there is an accessible path to a rewarding STEM career for everyone, leading by example from within."
With a remarkable 25-year career in STEM, Sally, who emerged from a single-parent, low-income family, challenges these stereotypes. As a pioneer in Aero Marine Engineering consultancy and project management, she was the first in her family to attend university at a time when women in engineering were even scarcer than today.
Sally urges individuals to help break these longstanding misconceptions. "Reach out to us, discuss the untapped routes that may not be highlighted in schools. If you're in year 12, consider signing up for a Nuffield Research Placement to discover the exciting career paths awaiting you."
Addressing the current educational landscape, Sally highlights the need for more STEM Ambassadors and real-life role models to visit schools. The national curriculum's demanding nature, coupled with a lack of real-world experiences, creates a gap that can only be filled by those actively engaged in STEM professions.
Read the full article to delve into the efforts underway to reshape perceptions and open doors to STEM opportunities: Disadvantaged parents in England and Wales rule out Stem jobs for children, charity says | Education | The Guardian