Getting girls into STEM

135. Anne-Marie Imafidon (London)

A computing prodigy from Stratford who uses her talent to inspire hundreds of women to get involved in science, technology and maths.

Anne-Marie Imafidon, 25, set up a group called STEMettes to readdress the balance of women who study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and attract the next generation of female leaders. Since 2013, Anne-Marie has hosted many events and encouraged over 900 people to consider a career in the sciences. Whilst the events are open to everyone, 95% of those who attend are female.

This award is the latest in a unique set of achievements for Anne-Marie who passed two GCSE’s (Maths & ICT) aged ten, passed A-level computing at 11 and became one of the youngest people to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged just 20. Anne-Marie set up STEMettes when she discovered that she was one of only three women in a class of 70 studying Maths and Computer Science at Oxford University. Her experiences made her think about what she could do to readdress the balance and inspire the next generation of young females into STEM.

STEMettes introduces students to successful women in careers related to maths, computing and science through a series of panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes. Attendees to STEMettes events also try out activities such as learning how to 3D print a necklace, choreograph a dance with a robot and professional coders are invited to teach the attendees how to create their own mobile app, game or website. These events offer a fun and valuable learning experience and Anne-Marie has now reached hundreds of young women with the message that science, maths and computing can be exciting, fun and lead to a rewarding career.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Anne-Marie’s remarkable achievements and love of technology make her a brilliant role model for young women. Her work with STEMettes entertains, inspires and is creating the next generation of maths and computing female leaders. Anne-Marie deserves recognition and I am delighted to name her the UK’s 135th Point of Light.”

Anne-Marie said:

“It’s always been a priority for me to maintain my full-time role and volunteer alongside it: I’m a woman in the industry encouraging more girls to join me. I’m glad the Prime Minister has recognised that this model works and is making an impact.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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