I HAVE to dedicate an ALDLive17 post to my new STEM hero. Aphra Bennet. This bad ass STEM lady is 17 years old, and I’m quite sure she is set to take the STEM world by storm. And soon.
Aphra studies 3 sciences for A level, Physics, Chemistry and Maths (I think we can all agree, these choices are impressive, and hard-core). She spoke eloquently about how A Levels are incredibly important to setting women up for a successful career in the Sciences, Techniology, Engineering and Maths. How students experience ‘impostor syndrome’, and female students often fall foul of this unhelpful thought process, which is added to by the ‘STEM demon’ sitting on their shoulder, telling them they aren’t good enough to study these subjects.
(Sidebar: While Aphra was speaking, my friend Lauren noted this exact series of events happened to her…and I didn’t even consider Physics despite loving the sciences. Clearly, not much has changed in the *gulp* 13 years since I took my A Levels).
Teenagers by reputation tend to be rather apathetic, not this STEMette. After noticing her female peers were succumbing to this way of thinking, leaving Physics A Level in droves, Aphra did research into resources and support for young women in STEM. To add to her bad-assery, Aphra plans to create a central place to ‘get women in STEM in one place’, in an ‘oasis of confidence’ (how beautiful is that?!) and ensure future Stemettes can easily find the support they need to see them through A Levels, and onto a hopefully fulfilling career in theior chosen field. Her call to action was heard loud and clear. I’m in! #togetherwecansaveSTEM
She ended her talk by stating that Ada Lovelace planted the seed for women to succeed in STEM, Suw has nurtured and grown that seed and shown its potential to the world, so it is now up to Aphra and others like her to nurture this seed into something beautiful.
I am convinced that the first person on Mars will be a woman. – Aphra Bennett
What an amazing vision for the future.