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STEM Diversity: Science Beyond a White Lab Coat

creative STEM vision board

By Dr Karen Joyce, Education Director

More Than Just Chemistry!

Just because chemistry is science, doesn’t mean that science is chemistry!

‘I’m not a science teacher, I just teach geography’

So, firstly, there is no ‘just’ about this. To teach STEM lessons is amazing! You have the ability to shape and inspire young minds. Take credit for what you do!

Secondly, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, science is ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment’.

To me, not only does that pretty much cover everything there is about the world, but it certainly describes geography pretty well!

Diversity in STEM

Just because the stereotypical scientist wears a lab coat and plays with test tubes or a microscope, that doesn’t mean that what you do isn’t science. The chemists and microbiologists have done a great job marketing here!

But it’s definitely time to highlight STEM diversity as well as the diversity of all the other sciences out there. Addressing this stereotype just might help some kids realise that there’s a whole lot more that science can offer that they may like and want to become a part of!

She Maps exposes participants to a range of ‘non lab coat’ science concepts. As my background is geography, our extensive drone program has a strong geospatial flavour as well. I love opening their eyes to aspects of science they never thought were possible.

We’re building the next generation of geospatial scientists in schools every week, and I think that’s pretty amazing.

Time to challenge our conscious and unconscious biases against non lab coat sciences and start advocating for diversity in STEM schools instead.

Read What is Unconscious Bias and How can we Challenge it in the Classroom? for more information.

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