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News > School News > Who says girls can't do Science? - Roedean bucks the trend!

Who says girls can't do Science? - Roedean bucks the trend!

Article featured in Boarding Schools' Association magazine 5 February 2018
6 Feb 2018
School News
Dorothy Lawrence loved Science.

She was one of three ground-breaking sisters who founded Roedean over 130 years ago.  Although she studied Science at Cambridge University, she was never awarded the degree she earned, because only men could graduate at that time.  Dorothy’s interest in Science and Mathematics remains very much in evidence at Roedean today, where the students pursue their love of those subjects which are stereotypically the domain of boys.

The numbers speak for themselves:  63 out of 95 girls currently in Year 12 study Mathematics A Level, along with 58% of those in Year 13, and a quarter of the Sixth Form is taking Further Mathematics A Level.  This proportion of girls pursuing Mathematics in the Sixth Form must be one of the highest in the country.  Furthermore, take up in the Sciences is also very strong, with 43 girls taking Chemistry, 40 studying Physics, and 35 Biologists.  Looking at combinations of A Levels, nearly 40% of the entire Sixth Form body are studying 2 or more of these five subjects, 14 students are taking 3.  Every year, the girls are hugely successful in national competitions, such as the Chemistry and Biology Olympiads, and last year six Year 13 Mathematicians sat the first-year Geometry exams at Sussex University, and all performed remarkably to pass, achieving higher marks than many of those on the degree course!

The girls’ success in Science and Mathematics-based subjects is illustrated perfectly by those girls who have just received Oxbridge offers this year:  congratulations to Emily (Chemistry at St Edmund Hall, Oxford), Georgina (Medicine at Christ Church College, Oxford), Melanie (Natural Sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge), Sharon (Economics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge), and Yian (Mathematics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge).  Another student, Martha, has also been offered a highly-contested places to study Medicine at both King’s College London and at St George’s.  In recent years, students have left Roedean to read for degrees in Aeronautical Engineering, Medicine, Computer Science, MORSE, Civil Engineering, Physics with Astrophysics, and many others besides.

To push themselves beyond the curricular requirements of A Level, and to put some of what they are learning in to practice, fifteen budding engineers in the Sixth Form have been working hard on Roedean’s Greenpower F24 electric car project.  The girls threw themselves into the challenge of assembling the car from a complex kit, as well as designing and constructing the seat, steering-wheel, and the body work.  June 25th was the culmination of months of preparation and hard work for the team, as they lined up at the Goodwood motor circuit, along with 80 other cars, many from university engineering departments.  The car came 21st out of 26, reaching a top speed of 17 miles per hour, and the girls learnt a great deal from the experience.  The slightly modified car is already going through speed-testing on part of Roedean’s newly completed all-weather pitch, and the girls have their sights keenly trained on this summer’s race.
Who says that girls can’t do Science?

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