The Malta Chamber of Scientists is organising a year-long project titled ‘Women in STEM – Bridging the Gap’. Funded by the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme (VOPs), it is aimed at increasing the number of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Although the number of women studying and working in STEM has increased in Malta and globally, there is still a large gap between genders in these careers. Almost half of the world’s great thinkers continue to experience hurdles in their careers in these fields, simply because they are women.

The project’s reach is wide, spanning from early learners to seasoned professionals, and the Chamber is also working with academics from the University of Malta, researchers and people in the industrial sector to create a strategy to promote long-term changes in the demographic of people working in STEM.

‘Women in STEM – Bridging the Gap’ will include hands-on, virtual workshops and puppet shows by Sean Briffa and Jeremy Grech in local primary schools to encourage pupils to think critically and to counter misguided preconceptions they may have as to who can be a scientist.

The project will also include a unique science theatre production by Angele Galea from More or Less Theatre for young adults that incorporates aspects of ground-breaking research in genetics as well as an explanation of the idea of the scientific method, all told through the story of a young female researcher.

The Chamber is also reaching out to women currently known to be working and researching STEM subjects and organising science communication masterclasses to help these women share their work and show the world the great work they are doing in these fields.

These initiatives will help spread the word on research being done by female experts, as well as demonstrate the world of possibilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that are open for people of all backgrounds.

The project’s ultimate aim is to actively change the public perception of who can work in STEM and for people to embrace the idea that STEM is for everyone.

For more information, e-mail womeninstem@mcs.org.mt.

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