Shattering Stereotypes is a project that tackles and raises awareness of gender stereotyping in schools and how it can affect subject choice at GCSE.
In the last few years research by the Institute of Physics (IOP) has shown that the lack of girls taking physics at A-Level is part of a wider problem; gender stereotyping in schools. The report Closing Doors concluded that schools which had low numbers of girls doing physics also had a small number of boys doing subjects which were stereotypically seen as girl subjects. Following this the IOP ran the Opening Doors project which generated a best practice guide for schools looking to tackle gender stereotyping.
From the point of view of the SEPnet partners the lack of diversity in physics is a problem they want to tackle as potential undergraduate physics students are being put-off from studying the subject. Projects aiming to increase the diversity of students taking A-Level physics are then seen as growing the pool of potential physics undergraduates.
We are keen for this project to be delivered as widely as possible and have made the resources freely available so that teachers, outreach staff and others involved in education can deliver the sessions themselves. If you are looking to deliver the workshops please register as a user.
SEPnet run this project across the South East region. If your school is interested in joining the project as a partner, please e-mail the Director of Outreach & Public Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org. At the moment SEPnet is looking for state-funded, mixed-gender schools for this project.
During the 2016/17 academic year, SEPnet Outreach & Public Engagement has been piloting a project determining the best role Physics Outreach Officers can play in tackling and improving the gender stereotyping problem in schools. Here you can find resources from the project and a summary of the evaluation.