Plan, invent, design, create. Test, tinker, fix. Evolve, grow, enhance.
STEM subjects are vast and varied. They become increasingly necessary to prepare young people for the 21st century. This has been reflected in government reports concerning the need for more STEM graduates.
Xinny is our Python and Photography tutor. She describes how STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) have helped her combine her creative and analytical interests.
What makes you excited about STEM?
As a youngster I went to museums and galleries. I engaged with art and photography because it allowed me to explore my surroundings. But it was maths and science that enabled me to understand this world around me.
That’s why I studied Chemistry at university; it is a subject that combines my creative and scientific interests. I was able to physically make things, like membranes that had never been made before that I did for my final year project, and then analyse and learn about them in detail.
What were your experiences growing up as a woman in STEM?
As a woman in STEM I have grown up in positive environments. At Imperial College, my course had a near even gender ratio, which is unusual in the technology world, but I see more women moving into the field.
Prior to Imperial I went to a specialist visual arts, maths and science school where we had ties to local universities. It was an encouraging environment that gave us opportunities to experience days in their labs. This gave me confidence going into the lab environment at university.
What is the best thing about pursuing a career in STEM?
STEM subjects allow us to continuously gain new knowledge and improve the world around us; from finding the next alternative to fossil fuels to building the next generation of AI. The possibilities of applications of STEM huge and varied. You just have to step along a path. For example, I started teaching myself Python. Then, on a course project, I started to apply the analytical aspects of this language. Who knows what I will do next with this skill.
STEM subjects have many transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. This can lead you to any job. So even if you study to be a Biologist, you can still become a management consultant. If you are a computer programmer you can work for charities predicting the flow of people or the spread of disease for example. Architecture, design, news; it’s all possible!
What do you hope for the next generation thinking about pursuing STEM subjects?
It would be great if more schools started initiatives that allow students to apply STEM subjects at an early age so students can link the content they are learning at school with real life applications. This is where FireTech can help; it allows girls interested in STEM to meet like-minded peers, showing them that coding and technology is an inclusive community that is open to anyone who is interested.
If you would like to know more about the variety of STEM courses that Fire Tech provides, click here, or give us a call to inquire.