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UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Monday 13 February 2017

Outreach activities and widening participation in science

In recognition of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we describe some of the School’s outreach activities with school-aged children.

The School of Psychology & Neuroscience is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and encouraging participation in science education. In recognition of the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 Feb, http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/), we would like to share some of the highlights of our outreach activities with school-aged children over the past year.

As part of our ‘Outreach, Widening Participation and Public Engagement’ program, we have actively engaged with young people of all ages, from pre-schoolers to post-compulsory education pupils. Over 1,400 children have taken part in hands-on activities that our staff and students have organised, including National Science Week events, the St Andrews Space School, open days and school-based activities. In addition, our National Science Essay Competition, supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, has engaged 1,200 pupils in recognising Scottish science and scientists.

We are long-standing supporters of the Sutton Trust Summer School, as well as Scottish-based programmes, such as LiftOff2Success and First Chances, which provide first-hand experience of University life to school pupils and support the aspirations of children from a broad range of backgrounds. In addition, our Living Links to Human Evolution centre at Edinburgh Zoo welcomes tens of thousands of visitors per year and provides both children and adults with information about our latest research on primate behaviour and cognition.

Two academics from our School, Dr Catherine Hobaiter and Dr Maggie Ellis, have described what inspires them and what advice they would give to young women looking to pursue a career in science, along with other female scientists across the University: Women in Science