Weekly Digest #127: Women in Physics

Weekly Digest #127: Women in Physics


This past week Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize in Physics for her work on chirp pulse amplification. Dr. Strickland’s win was particularly notable because it has been 55 years since a woman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Before her, Maria Goeppert Mayer was the last woman to win the prize in 1963 for her work on nuclear shell structure. We’ve written past digests about how to encourage girls in STEM and examples of leading women in STEM. This week, we’re providing a list of resources about getting female students more involved with Physics.

  1. STEP UP 4 Women by the American Physics Association

The percentage of women who go on to pursue a college degree in physics is declining. According to the American Physics Society, “If half of high school physics teachers recruit one additional female student to a physics major, the incoming college gap will be closed.” The STEP UP 4 Women project seeks to increase the number of women taking physics in high school to prepare them for college.

2. Girls, how does it feel studying physics? by Amanda Woods-McConney

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Researchers interviewed successful female physics students to get a better understanding of the factors that influenced their decision to pursue physics. Their findings “provide a reminder to us all that simple fixes are probably not going to do much to improve female enrollment in high school physical science. It is also a valuable reminder that knowledgeable, caring science teachers, supportive school science cultures and supportive family members can help sustain girls’ interest and confidence in doing science at school.”

3. Physics Girl by Dianna Cowern @thephysicsgirl


“Physics Girl is a resource for fun physics videos and other science materials. Initially started as a post-college personal project, it has grown into a resource for teachers, a source of entertainment for physics nerds, and a way to share a passion for physics while advocating for women in STEM.“

4. Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics? an NPR interview with Shankar Vendantam @HiddenBrain

In this interview with Shankar Vendantam we learn about research that suggests that girls who have more female role models in physics are more likely to pursue physics.

5. Notes for Teachers - Resources for STEM Education from Ada Lovelace Day

This education pack provides teachers and parents with information and resources to help more girls develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). 

Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Occasionally we publish a guest digest, and If you'd like to propose a guest digest click here. Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

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