Getting girls involved in STEM (when you don’t know much about it!)

We spoke to Brownie leader Nadine and Guide leader Aisha, both from Rolls-Royce, about how to get girls involved in science, technology, engineering and maths

Girlguiding
9 Nov 2017

Spaghetti and marshmallows are always a winner

From as young as seven, girls think that science is a subject for boys. This is something we want to change but it can be hard for leaders to do STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) activities with their units if they don’t have the confidence or aren’t from a STEM background. We asked leaders and Rolls-Royce employees Nadine and Aisha about how they include STEM in their unit activities and how you can too!

Nadine

Nadine

2nd Swannington Brownies

Engineering is when people create practical solutions to invent, design and build things that matter!

STEM activities give my Brownies the chance to experiment, build and explore STEM subjects and engineering in a girl-only environment. It makes girls aware that STEM subjects and careers are not just for boys and proves that science can be fun for everyone. 

Aisha

Aisha

1st Alvaston Guides

Engineering teaches girls to think through a problem, understand what goes into making the things they use every day and improves communication and teamwork. 

STEM activities lets girls work as a team, think holistically, communicate better and see real life applications of the subjects they learn at school.

Getting your unit involved in STEM

Being messy helps! Use kitchen equipment and store cupboard ingredients for activities – cornflour, lemons and food colouring. A great resource is Roald Dahl’s ‘George’s Marvellous Experiment’ book. 

Spaghetti and marshmallows are always a winner, they get to work as a team to build the tallest structure and then they can eat the marshmallows after!

Other activities you could try are:

  • Cornflour putty
  • Investigating static electricity using balloons
  • Paper helicopter and aeroplanes
  • The Rolls-Royce resources for the Science Investigator badge!

You can find lots more ideas for technology and science activities in our activity finder

Rolls-Royce STEM ambassadors

Aisha is a Rolls-Royce STEM Ambassador and got a team of her work colleagues to come in and help Brownies and Guides make air rockets, paper bridges and lava lamps. 

STEM Ambassadors are a diverse group of people who work or are interested in STEM. They are able to run or assist in a huge range of activities and share their knowledge with the girls and the leadership team to help everyone improve their confidence in STEM.

STEM Ambassador unit visits

You can request for a STEM Ambassador to visit your unit