Increasing the participation of girls in Physics is a topic on which there has been much research and imaginative programs developed. This list is a reasonably comprehensive collection. If you know of other useful resources, please pass them on to Vicphysics. To find out about Vicphysics’ Girls in Physics Breakfasts program, click here.

Resources, Research, Reports, Commentary, News stories, Images and Videos

Resources

Women in Science

Brief biographies of 16 women who had a career in or made a significant contribution to a scientific discipline.

TechnoGirl

A cartoon strip about a girl who does work experience at an engineering dept at a university. An ABC initiative. Reasonably engaging without being too preachy.

Engaging with Girls – An Action Pack

This Action Pack is part of the IOP initiative ‘Girls in Physics’. It includes a practical guide to developing and embedding good classroom practice (3MB, pdf file) nd a pack of additional resources (316kB, pdf file).

Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics

The website has information on 83 female physicists, who are grouped by research interest. Each person has a page about their contributions, publications, honours, positions and comments.

Girls in Physics: An IOP Initiative

This is the opening page to the initiative by the Institute of Physics in the UK. There is a short explanatory introduction and links to a review of research, an action plan for teachers, videos and a briefing on action research. These aspects are also individually linked elsewhere on this page.

Women on the Manhattan Project

The website has information on the physicists, engineers and military personnel involved in the Manhattan Project. It also has information on several of the prominent female physicists on the 20th century.

Encouraging Girls in Math and Science: A Practice Guide

A 2007 report by the US Institute of Education Sciences in the National Centre for Education Research. 55 page pdf file.

GEMS Club

Girls Excelling in Maths and Science (GEMS) clubs are a US initiative for upper primary age students. The activities page included activities for Physics as well as Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Computing.

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology

TWIST is an US-based non-profit organisation, promoting science and maths education and career planning for girls and women. The site is about TWIST events in the US, but the “References Links” is very extensive. TWIST organises annual “Expand Your Horizons (EYH)” conferences for middle school girls. The site informs about a range of programs and activities, and provides access to a variety of relevant resources.

Profiles of Women in Astronomy

This webpage has links to various female astronomers; including Henrietta Leavitt and Maria Mitchell. There are also links to other notable women in history if you are looking for some positive role models for female students.

Women in Astronomy

An Introductory Resource Guide to Materials on Women in Astronomy. There is information of 16 female astronomers from the past and 17 living astronomers. There is also an extensive list o written resources, websites. The website is by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, so it has useful general astronomical resources.

Research

Why don’t girls choose physics? 600 kB

presented by Jane Coyle, Marian College, Sunshine at the 2008 Physics Teachers Conference.

Why girls don’t choose Physics? Research paper 312 kB

Written by Jane Coyle, Marian College, Sunshine and presented at the 2008 Physics Teachers Conference.

Why Girls don’t choose Physics?: Audio 64 kB

Presentation by Jane Coyle, Marian College, Sunshine, at the 2008 Physics Teachers Conference. (60 min)

Girls in Physics: Increasing their number in post compulsory physics 134 kB

Victoria Millar, Melbourne Girls’ College, Dr Maurizio Toscano, Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne

Reviewing the participation of girls in physics 44 kB

Support notes from the talk by Dr Christina Hart at the 2007 Physics Teachers Conference.

Girls in the Physics Classroom

An Institute of Physics (IOP) Report: A review of the research on the participation of girls in Physics. It is a 66 page pdf file.

Science Education And Young People’s Identity Construction – Two Mutually Incompatible Projects?

A paper by Camilla Schreiner and Svein Sjoberg. This article is based on the view that teaching must build on an understanding of students’ values, cultures, priorities and concerns. Rather than discussing howvalue issues can be addressed in science lessons, they aim at describing aspects of the spirit of our time, and how these might influence young people’s ways of seeing and valuing their science lessons and the role of science and technology (S&T) in society.

The Cultural Production of Science in Reform-based Physics: Girls’ Access, Participation, and Resistance

An article by Heidi B. Carlone from the School of Education, The University of North Carolina. It was published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching in 2004. Abstract: Recent literature in science education suggests that, to transform girls’ participation, learning, and identities within school science, we must think about ways to engage girls in different kinds of educational activities that promote broader meanings of science and scientist. This study was designed to examine more deeply this call for a changed science curriculum and its implications for girls’ participation, interest, and emerging science identities.

Girls and physics: teaching and learning strategies tested by classroom interventions in grade 11

An article by Peter Labudde et al published in the International Journal of Science Education in 2001. It can be fully downloaded at no cost. ” ..various strategies are developed and empirically tested for an approach to physics instruction that should improve girls’ and boys’ attitudes toward and achievements in physics. Strategies include opportunities to integrate different pre-existing knowledge and the variation of teaching methods to enhance co-operation and communication in the classroom. … The focus (is) on some of the applied strategies. Implications for the teaching and learning of physics and for teacher education are discussed.”

Reports

American Institute of Physics: Women in Physics

Reports of successive International Studies of Women in Physics. More than 1350 women physicists from more than 70 countries answered a survey conducted in connection with the IUPAP International Conferences of Women in Physics. The report covers women physicists’ experiences in education and careers. Comparisons are made between women from developed and developing countries

Why so Few?

This webpage is on the American Association of University Women (AAUW) website. It contains from the 2010 report titled “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”. It presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers – including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities – that continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and maths. The page has links to the full report, a video and powerpoint presentations and a webcast.

Commentary

A blogspot by a theoretical physicist

A blogspot on science and other matters by Sabine Hossenfelder, Assistant professor of High Energy and Nuclear Physics. The page of this link is on Women and Physics.

News stories

Women explore the frontiers of Physics

An article on MSNBC with stories about several women currently active in physics in the US. It is part of a series of articles on ‘A century of Einstein’.

The LHC runs on woman power

An extended article from the CERN Courier of April, 2008.

Why do so few girls elect to do Physics at A level?

BBC radio interview

Images and Videos

Why Don’t Girls do Physics?

A short video from teachers.tv in the UK. Although equally interested at a young age, the older you get, the more male dominated the field. Research into how girls can be encouraged to take physics at A-level, suggests that we should link it more to the real world.

Images: Women at Work

Seven photos of women in high tech laboratories at FermiLab with text descriptions.

Physics – Girls

In these two videos, a UK physics teacher, Barry Berndes demonstrates how he keeps his female students motivated and engaged by following the five golden rules for Girls in Physics.

Girls speak out

A short video from teachers.tv in the UK. Three young women go back to school to find out what turns girls away from physics, asking what can be done to improve the situation.