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Give girls STEM presents this Christmas

Girls in engineering

Families should buy girls STEM-related gifts for Christmas to spark their interest in science and engineering, according to equality campaign group Wise.

Speaking at the Wise Conference 2016 in London yesterday (10 November), the group’s chief executive Helen Wollaston called on parents and families to buy toys for girls that will encourage an interest in science this Christmas.

“We’ll get more girls getting presents this year that will excite them about science and engineering,” she said.

A list of the top 10 presents for girls on Wise’s website includes a solar power kit and a circuit-building toy.

Wollaston also called on schools to do more to close the gender gap in students taking science subjects after GCSE, adding that Ofsted should reserve its top grades for schools and colleges achieving a rate of 24% of girls taking science subjects after GCSE – the same percentage as boys.

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