Happy 2nd Birthday oSTEM!
We’re now 2 and continuing from our success last year in giving those who identify as LGBTQ+ a safe space to meet people like themselves over our weekly coffee socials, and be inspired to see what they can achieve with our termly Speaking Out events.
We’ve organised many events this year, from our trip to ThinkTank in October to our Christmas Quiz in December. In January we travelled to York to take part in STEMinar again, tripling the amount of people we took and supporting one of our members who was a speaker at the event.
In November we had the pleasure of being the first oSTEM from Europe to attend the Annual oSTEM Conference, which this year was held in Chicago. This gave us the chance to meet up with other oSTEM chapters and take part in interesting workshops such as: Navigating Gender Transition in an Uncertain World, "The Gay Privilege”: Transforming Personal Hardships in order to Thrive in STEM, and OUTReach: Why & How to do Science Communication. We even won an award for the most distance travelled to the Conference, and I got a chance to take a tour of the Boeing site!
This year we arranged a program of activities for LGBTQ+ history month for the first time. During our events throughout the month a group of oSTEM members had the opportunity to travel down to London to explore the Science Museum. To launch history month we did a trip to Gales with NucSoc, then we had weekly talks from members of committee on various famous LGBTQ+ people from history, such as Alan Turing. To finish the month we had our 2nd Speaking Out event of the year featuring Emma Wayne, a patent attorney and Jenny Marshall, an academic at the University.
I really wanted to get involved with outreach in schools this year, so we contacted WISE and joined up with their Award-winning Outreach Scheme to get some of our committee working with local schools, a scheme we hope to expand into more schools in the coming year. We also travelled to Worcester with WISE to attend a Women in STEM Networking event.
We’ve continued to work with other EPS societies: in March, oSTEM teamed up with WISE and EESE Soc to do a Women Engineering Forum. This was a day-long event which saw engineers sharing their experiences in the workplace with an audience of students.
We are now counting down to the annual EPS Societies’ Awards in June. If you are or have been part of oSTEM, would like to be, or have been inspired by my work to get into schools to inspire kids to get into science, or even just because you have enjoyed reading about our activities this year please nominate us!
If you are interested in finding more about the society, getting involved in an event or participating in our speaker series, feel free to drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our Facebook page to be added to our secret group. We would love to hear from you!
I have had an amazing time being Chair for the past year and I cannot wait to continue to grow oSTEM over the next year.