The BBC is reporting that EDF Energy has been criticised after a 13-year-old-boy won a competition designed to attract teenage girls to science, technology, engineering and maths.
Children were asked to think of ideas for a connected home bedroom product.
EDF said that while its Pretty Curious programme is still aimed at girls, the UK competition was later opened up to all 11 to 16-year-olds.
It continues to share the same website and branding as the girls’ scheme.
The BBC understands that the decision had been made to open the competition up to both genders in the interests of fairness, and that the contest attracted “a couple of hundred” entries…
The winner’s idea was for a games controller which harnesses kinetic energy from thumb action using wind-up triggers.
Three of the four runners-up, whose ideas included smart curtains, a smart fridge and a sleep monitor, were submitted by girls…
“Congratulations to the winner – but I’d love to hear from EDF how the winning solution meets their stated aim for the competition,” said computer scientist Dr Sue Black OBE.
“It is taking me a bit of time to work out how this result will change girls’ perceptions of Stem.”…
You can see the Pretty Curious website at: https://www.edfenergy.com/prettycurious
Bit of an own goal here from EDF Energy or does this just demonstrate the difficulties of trying to address a gender imbalance without resorting to further gender stereotypes?
What do you think – should they have kept it a girls-only competition or is such a concept fundamentally flawed?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!