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International Women’s Day

 

To celebrate the International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March 2019 the Mathematics Department ran a series of educational and empowering lessons. In one class we listened to the real life story of Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the Astronomer who in the 1960’s discovered the existence of a new type of star, called a Pulsar but who did not receive a Nobel Prize for this, but her PhD supervisor did. The injustice of this outcome brought out passionate comments from the class such as “This made me feel annoyed at how people treated her and I was proud of her bravery and what she discovered” and “It made me feel sad especially because she couldn’t do anything about it and still accepted it even though she did not deserve it”. Some people were in awe of her stoic outlook on life that has helped her win most major Physics prizes and become the President of the Royal Astronomical Society then the President of the Institute of Physics. She even won $3,000,000 for her research that she donated to charity in order “to fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers”, no wonder that some of the class have taken her as a role model.

We next discussed women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and how to encourage more female participation. It was pleasing to see that all pupils wanted a more representative number of women in STEM subjects. There were several suggestions on how to help to develop this balance including “having more talented ladies influencing younger girls”, “encouraging girls more in Primary and Secondary School”, “change the mind-set of the younger generation … let women know that they are equal” and we were encouraged to “stand up to misogynistic people”.

The passion and urgency for action was great to see and gives hope for a more balanced society created with the help of these Douay students.

These ideas show the core principles of The Douay Way that our pupils have taken to heart.

Mr  P Campbell - Maths Department