Jasmin a.k.a Jazzybumblee has been working with EDF Energy as part of their Pretty Curious programme, which launched in 2015 and aims to inspire more girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at GCSE level and beyond.
We chatted to Jasmin to find out why this was so important to her.
What did you study at school?
At school I studied science, English and maths as core subjects for GCSE’s along with PE, RE, PSCHE, dance, French and business studies. I then went on to take chemistry, biology, physics and maths at A level.
Were you encouraged to go to university?
Yes, my parents wanted me to go to university and get a degree as they had both really enjoyed the experience. My school also encouraged me to go to university and it seemed like the most appropriate next step, given that most of the jobs I wanted to do at the time required a degree. I also wanted to go to university for myself, not only to learn more about physics, but also to develop important life skills, like time management and self-learning.
What did girls at your school think of science and maths subjects?
I think I was lucky. I don’t think any girls at my school saw science and maths as majorly different to any other subject; some enjoyed maths, some enjoyed history, some enjoyed sports, it was just a matter of preference. It was great that we felt able to choose the subjects we enjoyed.
Was there any sort of prejudice?
For me personally, I don’t believe so. Up until A-levels, science and maths were both compulsory, so we all studied them without question. When it came to choosing options for A-levels, just as many people stopped studying maths as English. In fact, biology was one of the most popular choices for A-level.
I went to a grammar school for girls, so there was never an insinuation that STEM subjects weren’t for girls. All subjects were open to everyone. But research shows that my school was the exception and not the rule. Many girls are still not choosing STEM subjects because they think they are more suited to boys, which just isn’t the case.
Can you tell us what STEM is?
STEM refers to subjects or disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths.
What made you want to be involved in this campaign?
When I heard that EDF Energy had a programme called Pretty Curious and it was about inspiring girls to think about how STEM could be part of their future, I felt it was the perfect campaign to get on board with. The hands on STEM events are great and over 1,250 teen girls have taken part its events across the UK.
More needs to be done to encourage girls and Pretty Curious is helping to get the message out. As part of the campaign a great virtual-reality film has been created to help inspire more girls to pursue STEM subjects. It shows you what it’s like to work in the most in demand STEM-related industries in 2023 through the eyes of three successful women.
Why should girls pursue STEM?
Sadly there are still not enough females in STEM fields, but girls can have exciting careers and there are loads of opportunities now with more than 640,000 jobs opening up over the next six years, according to EDF Energy research.
My advice would be to remember that science forms a part of pretty much everything we do. I absolutely loved studying science and have learnt so much about the world. Whether it’s learning about what happens when certain chemicals react together, or about animals and nature, or if you just enjoy physics like me, there are so many opportunities available to you after university.
It’s so important to be interested in the world and there are just so many amazing careers open to you if you study these subjects. We need more coders, robot engineers and scientists!
How does all of this play into your YouTube channel?
I love making videos where I can demonstrate practical experiments, for example working with Gallium (a liquid metal). I made my own thermochromatic slime and also ‘fake snow’ using just conditioner and cornstarch. I think my viewers like to see my reactions because it’s clear that I genuinely do enjoy experimenting and sharing my experiences with others.
When did you decide to start YouTube?
I’ve always loved watching other people on YouTube and really wanted to start a channel, but never had the time. This changed when I went to university and I thought YouTube would be a fun hobby to try my hand at.
You can find out more about the Pretty Curious programme here and view an immersive Virtual Reality video created by EDF Energy here, which showcases three successful women currently working in STEM careers.