Students challenge Science Stereotypes
Darwin High students are taking on the gender inequality of high school science thanks to the schools girls only STEM class program. Research shows at a secondary school level, the number of female students studying physical science continues to be considerably lower than male students.
In 2015, Darwin High School and Top NTCET student Lauren Northcote collected data from female DHS students asking ‘would they be more inclined to enrol in a science class if there was a girls only option’. The findings of her report strongly indicated that the option of female only classes for STEM subjects was preferred.
Last year Darwin High School launched its girls only STEM class program in an effort to increase the number of female students enrolled in Year 11 and Year 12 science classes. Initial reporting and student feedback on the program has been overwhelming positive, with twenty three Year 10 students enrolling in the Program in 2016.
In 2014 and 2015 less than one quarter of DHS Year 12 female students studied Physics. In 2017 the number of female students studying physics has more than doubled. Year 11 student, Jacqueline Da Costa is studying an astounding four science subjects. In total, eight of the twenty three girls from the program are studying three Year 11 science subjects, with 91% of the program participants enrolled in science subjects this year.
The program was again offered to Year 10 students enrolling at Darwin High School in 2017 and twenty seven female students are currently participating.
Pictured above are Darwin High School students and Ashya Lal and Jacqueline Da Costa being photographed for the NT News for a feature story on International Women's Day.