Skip to main content

Video series hopes to ignite girls' passion for science

A University of Guelph physics professor is hoping to get more girls hooked on science on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Professor Joanne O’Meara said recent statistics show to the number of girls in physics classes drops to about 34 per cent by the time they reach grade 12. However, O'Meara believes keeping girls enticed to learn more about science should start in earlier stages in their lives.

“There’s work that can be done at the elementary school level in terms of encouraging students to see themselves pursuing different avenues," O’Meara said. "I think students get turned off from certain subjects at a certain point and it is very hard to re-ignite that flame.”

University of Guelph professor Joanne O’Meara and her daughter Mara Svensson perform an experiment.(Submitted/Joanne O’Meara)

O’Meara said she grew up a naturally curious kid.

“Asking those questions, why is the sky blue? What’s up with rainbows? All those kinds of questions that kids wonder about," she explained. "And so much of that is physics. I didn’t know at the time.”

Her 11-year-old daughter is following in her footsteps and shares an interest in science. The duo post videos online performing unique experiments that tests things from bubbles to buoyancy.

“So you can build stuff and then test it and apply it to how the world actually works,” said O’Meara’s daughter Mara Svensson.

(Submitted/Joanne O’Meara)

O’Meara hopes she can make a difference and inspire more females to pursue STEM careers.

“Physics, chemistry, engineering, math, engineering, computer science. Those tend to be the programs in which there are significantly less than 50 per cent female enrollment,” said O’Meara.

O’Meara and her daughter post their videos on the University of Guelph’s Physics YouTube channel. Their team is called AMASE which stands for ‘Ask Me Anything Science Edition’. All the experiments are DIY and easy for kids to follow along with at home, O’Meara said.

O'Meara is also the co-founder of Royal City Science, an organization hoping to build a science centre in Guelph.

(Submitted/Joanne O’Meara) Top Stories

Stay Connected