Students from Bolton School Girls’ Division were welcomed back after their summer holidays to find their science labels had been named after top female scientists. The girls voted for the scientists they wanted their labs to be named after before the holiday, and now each lab has a new plaque outside bearing the name of one of the nine chosen women.
The labs at Bolton School Girls’ Division are named as follows: The Mary Anning Laboratory, The Nettie Stevens Laboratory, The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory, The Eva Wittgenstein Laboratory, The Jocelyn Bell Laboratory, The Marie Curie Laboratory, The Caroline Herschel Laboratory, The Hertha Ayrton Laboratory and The Florence Bascom Laboratory.
Dr Anne Fielder, Head of Science at Bolton School Girls’ Division, said: “Some of these women have been little recognised for their work and contributions to science, due to the fact that they were female. We would like to honour them for their scientific contributions and ensure that their names live on.”
School Headmistress, Sue Hincks, is president-elect of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA). She commented: “It’s important that young women have positive female role models to reinforce their self-belief and inspire them to aim high in whatever field they choose to pursue. Women scientists are particularly important because working women are so grossly under-represented in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“Girls’ schools are known to create environments where more girls choose to study maths and physics to A level and I’ve noticed that, whilst the majority of young women scientists pursue careers in medical fields, there are growing numbers choosing engineering and technology. What is gratifying about this list of women scientists the girls have chosen themselves is the breadth of scientific fields they represent – they include women in engineering, maths, astrophysics, geology, paleontology and astronomy as well as genetics and chemistry.”
Two of the women nominated by the girls in Bolton School Girls’ Division were educated in GSA schools. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a pupil at The Mount School (for girls) in York and Rosalind Franklin was a pupil at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London.