SMART STEMs: Inspiring young women

Last week saw the SMART STEMs debut event hosted by Caledonian University which was attended by 500 young women aged between 11 and 18. The day included a mix of inspiring female speakers as well as practical breakout sessions which allowed participants to interact with technology.

SMART STEMs recognises that due to outdated perceptions various demographics are more involved in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) than others. The first mission of SMART STEMs is to inspire young women to become the great thinkers and creators of tomorrow.

Our stall was over-run at the event by group after group of enquiring young women who were keen to learn as much as possible during the event. We chatted with them about what subjects they enjoyed, what they wanted to be when they left school, and how gender stereotyping might impact on their hopes and plans for their future in the world of work. It was great to see how the young women engaged with these ideas and excitedly discussed their own thoughts and opinions. Our BWYW materials also went down a storm, and we encouraged everyone to take them back to their schools and tell their friends what they’d learned.

Our teacher resources packs were also very popular, and we had some great discussions with teachers about how they could use them in their own lesson plans, and how we could support them to deliver sessions to their pupils. We have made new connections with a number of schools and we hope to be visiting them all soon; introducing Be What You Want to wide range of pupils all over Scotland.

If you are interested in learning more about gender stereotyping and how that impacts on subject and career choices, or you’d like us to deliver a session in your school, please get in touch with us at

Close the Gap stall

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