The Shattering Stereotypes pilot project ran throughout the 2016/17 school year and, as stated in the evaluation brief, sought to determine the best role Physics Outreach Officers can play in tackling and improving the gender stereotyping problem in schools.


  1. Deliver a year-long programme of activities to six schools in the South East in the 2016/17 academic year. Each of three Outreach Officers will work with two schools, which will be local to each Officer’s University.
  2. Develop metrics to measure how gender-stereotyping culture can be measured in schools.
  3. Kickstart a discussion in each of the schools on how they are gendering different subjects and therefore influencing subject choice.
  4. Produce a best practice report for physics-specific Outreach Officers wishing to tackle Gender Stereotyping in Schools.

Who is the programme of activity targeted at?

The main programme targeted Year 8 students in schools of all genders. A secondary audience are interested A-Level physics students; where parts of the main programme were delivered by the Year 12 students.


Summary Of Learning

This news item features a summary of learning from the project.

Programme & Resource

Autumn term – gender stereotyping workshop for Year 8 students

Delivered in a single lesson and introduced some of the key issues and incorporated a People Like Me activity and elements of the KS3 Introductory Workshop from the IOP Gender Balance resources.

  • Presentation – The presentation introduces the idea of gender stereotyping through toys. (See Let Toys be Toys project for more information)


Spring term –evening/twilight careers event for Year 8 students and their parents

Aim was to introduce the full range of opportunities for physics students. This session incorporated a People Like Me activity, a talk and a chance to meet
physics role models.

  • Presentation – Introduced the idea of gender stereotyping to parents. Then introduced the link to careers and introduced the physics role models.
  • Case Studies – Resource showing diverse physics graduates across many different axes including type of job, ethnicity, sexuality and gender.



Summer term – communication challenge for Year 8 students

In which students took part in a day-long, off-timetable group activity to plan and design a method of eng aging a particular audience group with the issue of gender stereotyping. Students selected their target audience from a list  (e.g. parents, teachers, younger students).

Additional Documents

Participating Schools

The pilot project took place across five schools: