Girl students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy are marking today’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science by bidding to be the scientists of tomorrow.

Girls now outnumber the boys in two out of three A-Level science subjects, accounting for 28 of the 39 sixth form biology students and 22 of the 34 chemistry students.

“We’ve been on a mission for some years to show girls that some of our greatest scientists have been women, and to get them excited about the impact that they could have on the planet and humanity if they choose science subjects,” said science tutor Dr Amy Cameron.

“In the past, broadly speaking, science subjects have tended to attract more boys than girls, and that’s particularly true of physics.”

Science teacher Stephanie Mortimer, who runs the school’s science club, added: “We are passionate here about making sure girls have the same chance as boys to become confident young scientists.

“With challenges such as climate change, the global need for renewable energies, world-wide collaboration to prevent further pandemics, space exploration and medical advances, our planet undoubtedly needs all the good scientists it can get.

“There is no reason why our students can’t follow in the footsteps of people like Marie Curie, Dorothy Hodgkin, Rosalind Franklin and Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and we are determined to support them as much as we can.”

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which is part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, begins encouraging girls to engage with science as soon as they join the school in Year 7.

Before travel restrictions came in, the school took students to CERN to meet scientists and see the Large Hadron Collider, and had invited women scientists to talk about their work and how they reached the top of their game.

“Covid restrictions including lockdown and home-schooling obviously prevented that, but as restrictions ease we’ll be going full steam ahead to get our future female young scientists ready for exciting and rewarding careers,” said Dr Cameron.