SciFest National Final 2023

Stand 5

Assessing the Progression to STEM Courses and Careers Between Female Single-sex and Coeducational Secondary Schools

Student Claire Leuridan-Slevin
School Dominican College, Taylor's Hill, Galway
Teacher Jean Carr
Venue ATU Galway

The purpose of this project was to investigate the underrepresentation of women in the STEM industry and to determine whether there was a correlation between women working in STEM and the type of secondary school they attended, whether it was single-sex or coeducational.

To examine the impact of attending a single-sex or coeducational secondary school on young women's decisions to pursue STEM careers, I conducted research through surveys targeting various groups. These groups included female Leaving Certificate students in single-sex schools, female Leaving Certificate students in coeducational schools, female students currently in third level education, secondary school teachers teaching STEM subjects, and employees in the Irish STEM sector.

In addition to the primary survey research, I also conducted secondary research to compare the survey data with national statistics.

The survey data revealed that a higher percentage of women currently employed in the Irish STEM industry had attended single-sex secondary schools.

One issue identified among female students in single-sex schools was the limited availability of certain STEM subjects due to insufficient interest, resulting in students being unable to study their preferred subjects and pursue a career in STEM. This problem was less prevalent in coeducational secondary schools, which typically offered a wider range of STEM subjects.

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SciFest National Final 2023
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