Raising aspirations for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

I’m currently a third year student studying Mathematics at the University of Portsmouth.

I knew from a fairly early age that I wanted to study a STEM subject. My maths teacher in secondary school really inspired me and we even had a STEM club that was set up for us. I think I was really lucky going through school as my maths teacher made the subject fun! She challenged our thinking but was really relaxed about it. She never forced us to do anything but the way she taught made everything seem interesting and I knew I wanted to take that learning further.

Being a part of a STEM club when I was younger gave me the opportunity to travel to NASA in the United States for two weeks for astronaut training. We met actual astronauts and other people that worked at NASA as well. All of them were women. All of them were inspiring. People always assume that maths is just about numbers, but it’s about so much more. At a completely basic level Maths simply involves solving a problem. There is generally one answer or a set of answers but you still need written and communication skills to be able to convey your findings to others.

If there was one message I could send to young girls who were thinking about studying in a STEM subject, it would be for them to not feel like they have to limit themselves. Just because you can do something like maths don’t feel like you can’t take part in art, sport, or other things. It is all possible and there are people who will support you!

This blog post was written by Nayaab Hussain, United Kingdom.

Raising aspirations for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Hi! My name is Emila and I'm in my third year studying Mathematics.

I didn't always want to pursue a career in Maths but when I was in secondary school I had a Maths teacher that made me fall in love with the subject. I remember when I went to college I met so many people who didn't enjoy maths in the way that I did because they 'didn't understand it' or because their 'teacher wasn't the best'. It made me stop and realise that I would love to get the opportunity to spread my passion and inspire the next generation of mathematicians.

Maths is everywhere in our day to day lives and it would be great to make people aware of how important it really is. I was so lucky to have amazing teachers along the way that helped shape my studies. I want to be able to give that to other people and show them that maths isn't a scary subject.

I've had the opportunity to take part in a placement this year and it has been more than I could have hoped for as I've been working with children. One day someone asked me if I still wanted to be a teacher after this experience. I can say without a doubt that I feel more like a teacher now than ever before.

Having women in STEM is so important. It shows girls that they can do anything they want even though it may be seen as something that only boys choose to study. Even if you are the only girl in your class you can make a difference to all the other girls who are thinking about studying a STEM subject.

If there was one thing I could say to young girls to inspire them into a career in STEM; I would tell them to not worry about what other people think. Don't let other people tell you what you can and can't do. Even though it is scary walking into a classroom full of boys when you are the only girl, if it's what you want to do, just go for it. You just need to remember that you can be the inspiration to so many other girls down the line. One person can make a real difference.

This blog post was written by Emila Grzadka, Poland.