Jessica Galpin is using her role as a high school maths and science teacher to encourage more women and girls to kickstart STEM pathways
Jessica Galpin has always been into STEM – enjoying maths and science in high school, and later during her Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at QUT, where she majored in maths and science. But it wasn’t until her first year on the job when she was asked to teach a Year 9 STEM class that she knew championing science, tech, engineering and maths careers, and being a high school STEM teacher, was her calling.
“What influenced me growing up was female role models – showing me where I could go and what I could explore!” she says. “I’m now all about educating and inspiring more women to pursue STEM fields in university and beyond.”
As a huge advocate for diversity and accessibility in education, Jessica is using her role at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School to encourage her all-female students to choose STEM – and stick with it. And with women currently only making up around 28% of the STEM workforce, it’s a pretty big – and important – job to tackle.
“Women make up half the population,” she stresses. “Their absence in STEM means half the potential innovation, quality and perspective in these fields disappear – a big loss of knowledge.”
At the moment Jessica currently heads up Year 11 Mathematical Methods, Year 9 Mathematics, Year 9 STEM and Year 6 Maths – where she continues to spruke STEM and its value in future economies.
This term she has her Year 9 class creating, coding and assembling a 3D-printed bionic hand for someone with limb loss. And that’s on top of the paper she’s writing on entrepreneurial thinking and her experiences teaching STEM to all-girls.
With such an inspiring mentor – and some seriously cool projects on the go – we’ve got a feeling Jessica’s students will end up in some exciting next-gen roles.
“The employer demand for STEM qualifications and skills is high, and will continue to increase in the future,” she says. “My students will probably be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet!”
Jessica’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Secondary Education, QUT
- Secondary Mathematics/Science/STEM teacher, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School
- QUT Born to Fly Scholarship holder
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.