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Hypatia Project: Empowering  girls to embrace their possibilities in science and technology-related careers
 
Brussels, 13 November 2015

Hypatia, a new €1.5 million EU Horizon 2020-funded project, will address the challenge of gathering different society actors around bringing more teenage girls into STEM careers, meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. In this challenge, schools, science centres and industries play a major role.
 
But why? One of the main reasons is that Europe’s knowledge economy development and the new technologies that are yearly arising need more students in STEM careers. The Hypatia project wants to reach teenage girls and boys, teachers, head teachers, policy makers, researchers, industries, science centres and museums, with innovative and effective ways of creating awareness and interest in these STEM areas.
 
But aren’t schools enough to foster these interests? Unfortunately not. At least, not yet. Research is constantly showing that the way sciences are communicated to young people, in and out of school, are not gender inclusive. That turns into practices where unconscious and conscious actions leave permanently teenage girls out of the STEM fields. What’s more, male and female teenagers still have little idea of the variety of STEM careers and the relevant skills for these paths.
 
One of the most important outcomes of the project will be the development of a toolkit, with different and practical activities that will help three main groups, teachers, museums and industry, carrying out gender inclusive activities.
 
Hypatia will run for three years and involves 18 partners from 15 countries across Europe.

From the 2nd to the 4th of November, the project’s partners met in Amsterdam in their Kick-off Meeting to discuss strategies and to set the ground for the work that will be done on the coming years. Building upon the latest social research on gender and STEM, Hypatia will also look at former EU and non-EU projects that have addressed similar issues, gathering and adapting the outcomes, in order to have a user friendly platform for all stakeholders, in the shape of the toolkit. A series of events and seminars will complement the online resources of this project.
 
Regarding the teenagers, with special focus on girls between 13-18 years old, Hypatia is considering the achievements of the EU campaign “Science is a girl thing”, and will create a new campaign, were girls will be addressed in a refreshing, proactive and creative way. 
 
Hypatia Coordinator Meie van Laar- from Science Centre NEMO (NL), said: "Our Kick-off meeting showed us we have an ambitious programme ahead of us. We are delighted to see that all partners are ready to start their tasks and putting their expertise and networks in place. Hypatia will certainly be a co-designing process and a very collaborative experience.”
 
On the third day of the Kick-off meeting an interesting session was held with the Advisory Board of the project, consisting of prominent representatives from different stakeholder groups. They will support every stage of the project during its design and implementation.
 
The Hypatia website will be coming soon. If you would like to know more about Hypatia project or would like to receive regular updates on its progress, please contact its Communication Officer, Andrea Troncoso, atroncoso@ecsite.eu, +32 470 451 889