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STEAM 2024- Our 11th Year of Success

It is nationally and internationally recognized that there is a shortage of girls choosing STEAM subjects as degrees, and a growing body of evidence about barriers to subsequent careers. We created this challenge in 2013 to inspire girls and encourage them to overcome these barriers. It invites secondary school girls to develop initiatives that will improve the lives of women and girls in other parts of the world; they work together in small teams to develop the concept, write up a brief and, if shortlisted, create a prototype. The teams then pitch these to experts in the field and are judged. Our experience shows us that engaging in this activity stretches the participant’s horizons effectively, so we continue it on an annual basis.

This year we had teams from Bournemouth School for Girls, Canford and Parkstone Grammar Schools. The final was held on 21 March; the winning teams received £250 for their school and a small individual financial prize for each pupil. We organise the receipt of a CREST award from the British Science Association for each girl involved. We have continued sponsorship from Ellis-Jones Solicitors and Southwest Water; this year Robert McAlpine made a significant donation to cover the prizes and CREST awards. Every year the Lord Lieutenant/ his deputy attends along with the Mayors of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and the Chair of BCP Council; this endorsement is appreciated and indicates the value that local dignitaries afford our project.

If you are interested in this and would like to come along to a Soroptimist International Bournemouth meeting to find out more, please email us at