Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College Melbourne

Dr Anita Gamvrellis on supporting girls in STEM

Posted 19 October 2017 Anita Gamvrellis

Last month, Wesley teacher Dr Anita Gamvrellis was a panelist at the In2Science event Supporting girls in STEM: strategies for the classroom and beyond. We caught up with Anita to ask her how best to support girls who show an interest in pursuing STEM studies and Wesley’s teaching approach to prepare our students for the future workforce.

Tell us about STEM at Wesley

Wesley is examining current practices in learning technologies to enhance the types of learning activities in the classroom. With technology use rapidly changing, keeping at the forefront is our priority. We aim to provide relevance to the learning opportunities by providing real-world examples. We are preparing students for jobs that do not currently exist, so a diverse skill set is imperative for future success of individuals.

What was the ‘Supporting girls in STEM’ session about?

The discussion focused on ways in which girls can be supported in their education to develop skills and interest in STEM areas. We also discussed some of the limiting factors inhibiting success for females in higher education as well as career choices and progression.

What is the importance of people studying STEM?

STEM is a multifaceted approach to learning. Whilst the acronym STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the outcome for STEM is to promote the skills of entrepreneurship, collaboration, inquiry, problem solving and creativity.

Why do you think it is important to support girls in STEM?

Industry appreciates that women may bring a different perspective to solving problems and how they approach their everyday practice. In being equitable, the stereotypical ‘male’ occupations should support the accessibility of women into these careers. We need to break down the barriers that women face and help them make connections with fields that they may not feel strong affiliations for. STEM -based learning creates opportunities for women to make real-world connections and develop a transdisciplinary skill set.

What different perspectives do girls bring to STEM?

The literature discusses how women are driven by connection and relevance and solve problems using different approaches. There is a strong drive to have direct influence on supporting people and communities. There are also strong connections with visual creativeness and making links with real-world contexts.

« Return to news listing