13 Jan 2020

An Unconventional Route Into STEM


My root into STEM was a little unconventional. I come from a hugely artistic background: my mum used to be a photographer, my dad is a photographer, my brother is in art school, my grandfather was a famous French painter and my other grandfather was a famous 60’s photographer… the list goes on. I went through alternative Steiner education when I was younger, which really cultivates creativity and only brushes over STEM subjects. However, when I went to secondary school I realised that maths and science just clicked in my brain. In year 11 we started studying astronomy in physics and I found it completely fascinating and later chose to do maths, chemistry, physics and Latin for a level. Now I’m in year 13, having applied to university to study physics. I have two offers already and interviews at Cambridge and Imperial coming up. I’m indescribably excited to go into physics and study it at a higher level, because of how much the physical sciences open your mind to the complexity of the world and universe around us. 

My ideal career is undecided as of yet. I think one of the greatest things about physics, and science in general, is how many doors become open to you. I would love to use my physics degree for entrepreneurship, working in things like climate change mitigation. In the summer I worked with a professor at Imperial working on projects to combat climate change, and I completely fell in love with it. Working in a team trying to address real-world problems was amazing. So we’ll see what happens next…

My advice to girls considering STEM is to enjoy it and not be afraid. A-levels are hard, and no doubt uni is harder, and that means sometimes, whilst drowning in revision and trying to understand thermodynamics, you forget how much you love science or what you are working towards; always remember why you chose this path and it will become easier. My other piece of advice would be to become your own role model. I read tonnes of physics books and it can be incredibly disheartening when every physicist mentioned is a man. It is undeniable that there is still a gender bias in these fields and women are still having their work stolen or under-appreciated. For me, it helps to remember that I can be one of the women who will change that.

This article was written by Stemette, Isadora.

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