Science and Society charter launch uses IOP case study
26 March 2014
The IOP’s “Science: it’s a people thing” workshop was used as a case study to accompany the launch in March of a Charter for Science and Society by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
The IOP’s initiative was one of several that were featured in a blog to illustrate the principles of the charter. Those who sign up to the charter commit themselves to working to improve the relationship between science and society, sharing knowledge and expertise, and evaluating the impact of their activities.
“Science: it’s a people thing” was developed by the IOP in partnership with WISE and Intel. It is designed to show girls how subjects such as physics and computer science connect with real-life issues and can open the way to a range of interesting careers.
The workshop uses role models to facilitate small group discussion and explore gender stereotyping. Discussion starters include a viewing of the European Commission’s widely-criticised video, Science: It’s a Girl Thing, exposure to some of the statistics on girls and women in STEM, and a chance to consider some controversial comments on girls and science and engineering.
The workshop was piloted successfully at the Big Bang Fair in 2013 and has now been run a number of times in schools and elsewhere, with very good feedback from participants and role models. A pack to enable teachers, STEM ambassadors or other volunteers to run the workshop is available via the IOP’s website.