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Girls in STEM (5)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Jennette Arnold Jennette Arnold Labour

What investment and support do you provide for extra-curricular activities for young women and girls to get involved in STEM?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

My £45m Young Londoners Fund provides positive activities for young people aged 10 to 21. I explicitly encouraged applications to deliver science and technology extra-curricular activities when I launched round 2 of the Fund in May 2019. I now fund 28 science and technology and digital YLF projects. For example, Digital Creatives, run by the Institute of Imagination and OnSide Future Youth Zone, delivers creative digital technology-based workshops which are co-created by young people to develop practical and problem-solving skills.

My Mayor’s London Scientist programme explicitly asks teachers to involve equal numbers of girls and boys, with our data showing a 50/50 balance in participation. Students work in teams, often at STEM Clubs, to identify and solve real-world challenges in their local area. This method is proven to benefit girls’ self-efficacy in STEM. Since 2018, it has funded 7,200 students across London to gain the nationally recognised CREST Award.

My RE:CODE London programme also offers extra-curricular coding workshops for whole classes, ensuring gender balance. Since November 2017, it has explored hands-on STEM challenges with more than 6,000 primary school students.

Transport for London’s Technology and Data Outreach programme is run in schools by TfL employees. Students learn basic programming used to display live bus and train arrival information. Since 2016 the programme has reached 5,500 pupils.