1st October 2014, 10:03am
Girls on scientific voyage of discovery
The Newton Academy - the Science Club for Girls A new academy aimed at encouraging young girls to pursue careers in science and technology has been launched in Lincoln.

The Newton Academy – the Science Club for Girls, set up by the University of Lincoln, UK, has recruited its first cohort of 10-11 year olds who will be taken through a three-year scheme involving 12 Saturday morning science and technology-themed workshops.

These will consist of hands-on activities and projects, designed to work alongside the National Curriculum, that will inspire and enthuse the next generation of female scientists and engineers.

The first two events introduced the group to computer science and robotics and a Spud Science Day covering a range of STEM topics from potato batteries to electronic noses for detecting potato diseases. The next event, a Chemistry Christmas Cracker, is planned for 6th December.

The Academy has been created as part of the University of Lincoln’s Athena SWAN project, which acknowledges the institution’s commitment to advancing the representation of women in science, engineering and technology.

Belinda Colston, Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the School of Chemistry, led the committee which spearheaded the University’s successful application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

She said: “The Academy has been developed to encourage girls of secondary school age to consider post-16 study in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and to pursue science and technology careers. But most of all it’s about showing them that science can be fun!

“The girls will enrol at age 11 and stay with us until age 14. They will take part in projects that develop their confidence in, and enthusiasm for STEM, as well as essential problem-solving and critical thinking skills.”

Lincoln University Technical College and the region's science and technology-based industries will also be involved in the Academy.

Nicole Fielding, Athena SWAN project officer at the University of Lincoln, said: “We want to inspire young girls and open their eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve. This programme will give them the leadership skills and confidence to challenge any preconceptions that may prevent them from being successful in any STEM field.”

For more on the Newton Academy and how you can sign up for future years please go to http://newton.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/
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