Aug 082017

Note: Year 3 of the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures Programme is just about to be launched. Watch our Sciences Glow Yammer feed and Twitter feed @EdScotSciences to avoid missing out!

Blog by Stephanie Leitch

I was inspired to apply for the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures’ New York Academy of Sciences programme by an article I read on the Education Scotland website. Having completed a very enjoyable research programme, through Nuffield last summer, I was keen to continue to build on my STEM academic studies through such a prestigious programme as 1000 girls. While never expecting to be accepted, I submitted my application with my fingers crossed. I was delighted when I received my acceptance email from the organisers at the New York Academy of Science a few weeks later. Shortly after, I was allocated an online mentor to guide me through the four modules of work.

As I plan to study medicine after the summer, it was very appropriate that my mentor Rachel Nelson has direct experience of that field. Rachel is currently working and in up State New York on her Biomedical sciences PhD and plans to attend medical school in Tennessee when she completes her studies. Our shared love of medicine and country music made it easy for us to get along and Rachel was able to give me valuable advice and support in completing the modules of the programme.

Girls who complete the 1000 girls, 1000 Futures programme are invited to attend a three day Global Summit, hosted by the New York Academy of Science (NYAS). This conference is held in New York World Trade Centre 7 and unites students from various programmes facilitated by NYAS. Fortunately, I was able to combine a family holiday with attending the conference, to give me this fantastic opportunity. The biggest challenge actually proved to be overcoming the heat! While taking the subway downtown in the morning from 63rd Street to lower Manhattan sounds extremely glamorous, doing it in temperatures of over 100 degrees is anything but! However, spending three days listening to world class speakers, in the company of students from around the world in the prestigious setting of the World Trade Centre was an amazing climax to a wonderful trip.

The summit is a mixture of practical exercises and inspiring speeches from members of the NYAS. On the first day we listened to a keynote speech from Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter Senior Vice President at PepsiCo’s Global R&D. We also attended a workshop, teaching us how to tell our STEM stories and present ourselves as credible leaders by presenting to small groups.

On the second day I was given the opportunity to attend a field trip, related to a STEM subject. I chose the Air and Nautical museum, down on the lower east side of Manhattan. This proved to be a fascinating experience where we were shown round this world class facility. The highlight of the whole event came when I was asked to participate as a panel member answering questions from around 100 younger people on my chosen route into science. While this was initially nerve wracking it turned into a fun and enjoyable experience which has greatly boosted my confidence in presenting to large groups, though I’m not entirely sure they understood my Scottish accent!

The whole conference culminated in an awards ceremony in which students from the Junior Academy of Science, Next Scholar and 1000 girls were recognized for their contribution to the online platforms and science related challenges throughout the year.

While 1000 girls is open to students from around the world I was delighted to find that there were three other Scottish girls (Alice Ridely, Zoe Porter, Hannah Strang) in attendance, though surprisingly no one from England! We became good friends during the three days, taking the opportunity to socialize at the informal get-togethers, at the end of each day.

Successful completion of the 1000 girls, 1000 futures programme makes me eligible to apply for junior membership of the New York Academy of Science which I intend to do over the next few weeks. I owe a massive debt of thanks to the organisers of the 1000 girls programme who made all of this possible and hope to be able to repay them by becoming a mentor in my own right.

As for my future, it’s a case of swapping the NYC subway for the Airdrie to Queen Street ‘express’ in September, to study medicine at Glasgow University, though guaranteed it won’t quite hit the 100 degrees!

Stephanie Leitch

North Lanarkshire

For further resources, research and guidance on improving gender balance in STEM visit Education Scotland’s dedicated page on the National Improvement Hub.

Jan 242017

Gender Balance logoImproving Gender Balance Scotland, the partnership project between the Institute of Physics, Education Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, has recently launched part of their suite of resources for schools looking to counter gender stereotyping.Primary child putting work on a board

The resources include PSHE lessons on gender and stereotyping, classroom interaction monitoring templates and a poster of top tips on inclusive learning. The resources can be found on the IOP’s website here.

As part of this launch Skills Development Scotland have released a short film including some work by Duloch Primary School, as well as a written case study of the work to date. The project page and the film can be seen on SDS’s page here, and the case study here.




Mar 032016

Engineering the future for girlsEngineering the Future for Girls @ the University of Strathclyde:  20th-24th June 2016

Strathclyde University have launched a new 1 week Summer School for S3 girls. Engineering the Future for Girls is being delivered in collaboration with BP and is designed to engage girls in a wide range of engineering challenges that will inspire them to become the next generation of engineers. The summer school is fully-funded by BP and all student costs, including travel, will be covered. Strathclyde will accept applications from girls with any range of subject choices at National 5. The summer school is non-residential and therefore pupils should be able to make their way each day to the Strathclyde University Campus in the heart of Glasgow City Centre.

Pupils should apply at using the online application form. The deadline for applications is 1st April 2016.

If you would like any further information on the Summer School then please email:



Feb 222016

Are your S2-S6 girls interested in pursuing a STEM related career? Why not take them to the City of Glasgow College’s annual women into engineering event? This event is aimed at promoting awareness and identifying opportunities for aspiring female engineers.

This one day event combines presentations from inspirational female engineers with practical sessions in the Colleges new state-of-the-art engineering campus. Participants will be able to:

  • Practice electronics on our award winning city bytes circuit boards
  • Experience Mechanical and Electrical Engineering training
  • Visit our industry standard Nautical Ship Simulator and Ships Control and Engine Room
  • Speak to professionals and current students about becoming a female engineer.

The event is free to attend and is being held on the 10th March 2016 at City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, 21 Thistle Street, G5 9XB.

To sign up for this event simply visit or email

Feb 222016

16381%20WIS%20Web%20Banner%201400%20x%20500The Women in Science Festival will return in March 2016. From 5-13 March, the festival will host a fantastic gathering of creative events, featuring world-leading scientists from the University of Dundee and around the world, to celebrate women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Women in Science Festival is the World’s only festival dedicated to celebrating women in science, technology, engineering & maths. The festival aims to promote careers in science to everyone, especially women and girls, it supports professional women to develop their careers and showcases the talented and exciting research taking place across Scotland.

More information and the programme for the event can be found here.

Feb 112016

11th February marks the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science and will be commemorated at UN Headquarters in New York.

In December 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. The achievements of women in all areas of science have been consistently overlooked compared to the achievements of their male counterparts. This situation is a serious obstacle to achieving gender equality and female empowerment.

According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field remains significantly lower than the probability for male students, as illustrated in the infographic below.









The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, held under the theme – ‘Transforming the World: Parity for All’ – will help institutions to promote the work of women in science and encourage girls to enter the sciences as a lifetime profession. Girls need female role models to emulate and who will give them the belief that they too can become scientists.

Parity means equality, and it is one of the purposes of this International Day to ensure that parity becomes reality.  This means institutions must ensure that women and men are paid equally for the same work. Gender equality has always been a core issue for the United Nations and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Follow the event on social media using the hashtag #dayofwomeninscience

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