Girls encouraged to reach for the stars

Students from St. Patrick's College, Banbridge. ''Picture: Philip Magowan
Students from St. Patrick's College, Banbridge. ''Picture: Philip Magowan

With the return of International Women’s Day (IWD) last week, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in tandem with thousands of groups right across the world, once again pledged its support to the initiative and in particular its 2018 theme to #PressforProgress.

Bringing together students and guests from a variety of schools and organisations, council in partnership with the Observatory and Planetarium, Armagh hosted the IWD event at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre on March 6.

Focussing primarily on women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, the event was compered by television presenter and journalist Paul Clark MBE and opened by Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson and Chief Executive, Roger Wilson.

“I am delighted to see the huge support from the audience and the inspiring female role models who have joined us to support and celebrate International Women’s Day. It is hard to believe in today’s society that gender imbalance still exists in the workplace and although we have made great advancements in recent times there is still so much for us to do to change this,” commented Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson.

During the event students got to hear about nine prominent female scientists throughout history, which not only increased awareness of female role models who are inspiring but also relatable.

With a local perspective local role models included, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist born in Lurgan, who discovered pulsars.