We are celebrating ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’!

We asked the Oxford STEM team about what attracted them to a career in STEM.

As a child, I frequently found fossils in the garden. With neighbours, we set up a fossil club and museum, which kept us happy for hours. I didn’t realise then, but my love of STEM had begun.

Later, chemistry teacher Mrs Allfrey inspired me to study Chemistry and the Environment at university. This led to a PGCE, teaching as a VSO volunteer in Tanzania (best students ever), followed by teaching in the UK and Ethiopia. Today, I love sharing my enthusiasm for STEM as an OUP author. It’s exciting to know that, all over the world, students are learning from my books.

Philippa Gardom Hulme, OUP Author

I always enjoyed figuring out how things worked and I was fascinated by David Attenborough’s documentaries. However, it was series called Cousins with a female presenter that first made me think quite seriously about science as on option, seeing a woman out in the field for the first time had a big impact. I completed a broad science degree that allowed me to learn about lots of different disciplines before I specialised in zoology.

As Science Publisher, I get to combine my love of science and language. I work with a team of editors and authors who are all driven to share the wonder of science and providing the best support for students and teachers that we can. Seeing students inspired by our publishing is always special.

Lamorna Newcome, OUP Science Publisher

It was space that hooked me into the world of STEM; if I was going to be an astronaut I’d need STEM to get there. Even though I knew it would be challenging I chose to study Physics at University because it would give me a lot of options, one of which was an Earth-bound career in science communication. Being a journal editor seemed like the perfect way to join a love of English language and science, which I later took into educational STEM publishing. I rely on my science background and knowledge in the work we do in the team, and I love seeing our material and ideas come to life in the classroom.

Sophie Ladden, OUP Science Publisher

I have always loved puzzles and shapes and at school, Maths was my favourite subject, right up to A level. But I never fitted in the neat Scientist box like my Biologist and Geologist parents. I loved English too, and ended up on a tangent of literature study and teaching for years, dipping into scientific lectures and appreciating the maths and science in everyday life, in art and music, or by spending hours in nature.

My children are now inheriting my STEM passion, reading about and experiencing nature in books and magazines, number puzzles and Sudoko, doing home-spun experiments, in museums, watching talks and of course, getting an insight into my work as a STEM editor.

STEM is in the everyday, and it is a privilege to bring the best of this to the classroom through my work developing resources which make this vital link, at OUP.

Helen Stacey, OUP Maths Commissioning Editor