During February half term 2022, Stemettes ran a four-day virtual Explore programme offering free sessions to girls and non-binary people aged 5-21. Throughout the week they had the opportunity to meet STEMazing role models, network, and take part in lectures and activities.
Morning sessions were tailored for three age groups: Junior (7-11 year olds), Connect (12-15 year olds), and Academy (16-21 year olds). In the afternoon, Connect and Academy talked to STEMazing role models in networking and group work sessions. All the groups were able to join downtime activities and Instagram Live sessions. The week was rounded of with a showcase where participants were able to share what they had been working on.
Thank you #STEM volunteers for their hard work at #FebruaryExplore over the past 4 days.
If you missed out this time round, our #EasterExplore programme is coming soon…
Here's a round up of what participants have been up to this week. ?? pic.twitter.com/7TmDSpCNJv
— Stemettes ® ?★ # + (@Stemettes) February 18, 2022
Overall, 30 participants took part in the programmes, with 10 academy participants achieving their Cisco Cybersecurity qualification. Connect participants were challenged to research a STEM topic in a smaller group and present it at the end of the week. They rated their experience of Easter Explore 9.4 out of 10.
100% of participants felt their awareness of STEM career options and knowledge of STEM increased.
What was their favourite part?
Juniors enjoyed meeting role models and the practical activities in their morning sessions, including:
- making pinwheels in the solar energy session
- creating ‘binary bracelets’, using beads to learn about binary code
- designing their own company logo and electric car designs
Academy thought that the cybersecurity content was super interesting and went more in depth than what they had learnt before, despite the challenge of learning lots of new terms.
“I found it really helpful having speed networking sessions every day in smaller groups. I think also the project was quite manageable and it wasn’t too big of a task.” – Connect participant
Participants thought that an unexpected benefit of the programme was that it reduced anxiety about the future and the pressure of making the right choice of subjects. There was a positive impact on participants’ wellbeing, with 84% of participants feeling their mental health improved.
Thank you to all of those who took part and volunteered to support the programme. Thank you to the Department for Transport for partnering with Stemettes for the programme and all the STEMazing role models who took part.
Check out some of the Instagram Live sessions from February Explore on the Stemettes Instagram: