I WISH I could do more!
22nd January 2018
Set up in Cork in 2015 by 3 businesswomen, I Wish is a multi-award winning initiative to inspire, encourage and motivate secondary school female students to pursue careers in STEM. In 2018, I Wish (Inspiring Women in STEM) will reach out to 5,000 girls over a four-day period at Cork’s City Hall and at the RDS Dublin. The I Wish showcase events feature a conference, interactive exhibitions, female entrepreneur zone and new this year, a teacher zone.
From I Wish surveys conducted each year at these events, enormous insights from girls are gained about their STEM perceptions, education choices and influences. When it comes to choosing what to study, 94% of female students are hugely influenced by how subjects are taught. However, one third of teachers surveyed said they did not know enough about STEM and STEM courses and careers, hence why I Wish has created a new Teach it Zone this year to address this area.
Amongst girls’ schools who attended 3 or more STEM events, 30% chose to do at least two STEM subjects to Leaving Cert compared to 20% who attended two or less. Attending these events makes a huge difference in their understanding of STEM!
Helping other people is repeatedly cited as important or very important to 75% of the girls, yet only 16% of the girls are choosing Physics and 31% Chemistry for their final exams at secondary level. Girls are telling I Wish that they want to help others. STEM careers do that but more work is required to clearly demonstrate how these subjects can transform peoples’ lives, improve the health of future generations, protect our planet and make improvements to how we live in ways we just can’t even dream of through STEM.
Over the next five decades the world will face some serious issues; over population, food and water shortages, ageing populations, disease, and climate change. STEM can and will solve real world problems and girls can be part of that innovation – Subjects such as Physics, Maths and Computer Science are the pathway to delivering positive change.
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