Six young women from Dean Close, along with two from Pate’s Grammar School, recently travelled to Oxford for the ‘Women in Science’ day. It was a day crammed full of science lectures and seminars, led by top academics to encourage more young women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees.

The pupils were hosted by a variety of Oxford Colleges – Lincoln, Wadham, Trinity and St Catherine’s – and were able to ask current undergraduates questions about their courses and the admissions process. There were group activities to show the kind of reasoning and critical thinking needed in an Oxford interview. Additionally, a panel of female scientists working at the university spoke to students about their experiences. The pupils really enjoyed looking around the Colleges before and during the organised day. The tours really helped them to get a feel for the Oxford atmosphere and what it would be like to study there.

Lower Sixth pupil, Michelle Chan, commented, “I now have more of an idea about what scientists do and what kind of topics they are investigating. The lecture – about how bacteria without a brain find food – was really interesting.” Fellow Sixth Former, Bella Moss added, “Today has shown and helped me to understand the process of applying to Oxbridge. I also found it useful meeting and speaking to other scientists of similar age.”

Oxbridge Coordinator, Josh Sumner, said, “This was a great chance for our pupils to get a taste of the Oxbridge experience and see academics in action. The informal nature of the day meant they could network with other students and ask questions about the courses on offer and where they could lead. It was a very useful day for all involved.”