Wales needs more people to follow careers in STEM, according to a local organisation

With safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines being developed in less than a year, more people are interested in following careers in STEM subjects.

According to the WISE campaign, increasing the number of women working in STEM could be worth £2 billion to the British economy. Source: Rawpixel

Prompting more people to get into STEM subjects is increasingly important in the wake of the pandemic, according to a local science festival organiser.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) hold today, and has increased the visibility and appeal of these subjects. And with the end of the pandemic nearing in sight, people in STEM are urging more people to follow a career in the subjects.

Alice Gray, a Welsh woman in STEM and a spokesperson for Cardiff Science Festival said: “Now more than ever, we need a diverse and passionate generation of scientists to help solve the global issues we face.”

After seeing the work done to help tackle Covid-19, more than half of children are feeling more inspired to pursue careers in STEM subjects, according to a survey of 1,003 people aged 10 to 18 for the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

“The Covid-19 pandemic shows what a vital role scientists play in sustaining public health. It has certainly highlighted the crucial role that scientists play in a health, active and thriving society,” said Alice, who’s part of the festival’s team.

Cardiff Science Festival is an annual event that aims to inspire and educate children, families and adults. The event is usually held in a variety of locations across Cardiff but will be held virtually this year from the 18th to 21st of February.

One of Cardiff Science Festival’s events will be looking at the secret science of hula hooping.

The weekend will be filled with over 40 events that promote Cardiff as a scientific hub whilst allowing people to meet some of the city’s world leading scientists to find out about the cutting-edge science happening right on our doorstep.

Events include coding workshops, an interview with an astronaut live in space and chats with Welsh Polar explorers and are all free to join from the safety of your own home.

“We open up the idea of what a scientist looks like away from traditional, stereotypical ideas and allow people of all ages to hear about something new from someone new,” Alice said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important a scientist’s role is in public health as international cooperation has led to multiple effective and safe vaccines in less than a year.

“When the world needs an answer to a global issue, the world turns to scientists to develop a solution,” she said.

The Welsh Government is committed to getting more people involved in STEM mainly by developing fit-for-purpose curricula and introducing new STEM qualifications.