Like many a Star War parent, I’ve been keen to get my child into all things involving the galaxy far, far away from an early age. But beyond simple nostalgia and wanting to share a part of my childhood that brought me joy – there is a another motivation.
Since being the father of a daughter, I’ve become aware of many issues facing women and girls. One of these is their low representation in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing). Left unchecked, it is very easy for girls to think that STEM is for boys.
There has long been a link between geek culture (sci-fi, superheroes, and the like) and tech. For me, encouraging my daughter to engage with Star Wars is part of establishing early on that science fiction and related genres are as much for girls as boys, and the same goes for STEM subjects.
EDF Energy have made this link directly with their current campaign to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM.
They run a programme called Pretty Curious, which aims to address the under-representation of women in STEM related careers. One way it seeks to do this is giving girls relatable role models.
They have joined forces with Star Wars to inspire more girls to think about a career in STEM. The Last Jedi features two inspirational female characters (Rey and Rose Tico), both with strong STEM skills.
Just as they are great characters to hook more girls into Star Wars and STEM, EDF Energy are promoting a whole host of real life inspiring women working in STEM fields today. They have made a Virtual reality film so girls learn more about these women – and can even experience what they do.
Other tools for girls include being able to create an avatar showing them in a STEM-related career – so they can picture themselves in a potential future role ranging from an engineer to an app developer.
There’s also an easy personality quiz to see what career may be best suited to their interests, plus a Parents quiz so they can get an idea of what STEM-related career would best suit their child.
Encouraging our daughters to explore what STEM has to offer will only broaden their horizons – as will getting them into the adventures of Rey & co in the galaxy far, far away…
What do you think? How important are roles models in encouraging girls to consider STEM subjects as something for them?
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with EDF Energy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi © 2017 & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.