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Classroom names changed to reflect the diversity that exists in science

Our Physics Department has renamed the School’s labs to better reflect diversity in science, with the ultimate aim to widen access and improve the gender balance in pupils taking up Physics in the Sixth Form.

Physics teachers suggested scientists they were inspired by, and then created a shortlist of scientists suitable for the classrooms and assignment room.

In order to make it achievement based, rather than people the pupils would recognise the names of, teachers took out the names, dates, and gendered pronouns for each scientist description. They then created an online poll where the pupils could vote based on the achievements of that scientist. Every class studying Physics voted, and then the top seven ranked names for the rooms were finalised. 

The Sanger Centre at Bryanston 

The new names for the classrooms are: Lamarr, Feynmann, Bazalgette, Rubin, Newton, Einstein, Johnson.

Teacher of Physics Becky Martin, commented: “We decided to rename the labs after we had been focusing on women in STEM in Science Society, and in a follow up to the media attention caused by the story on girls ‘not wanting to do STEM’.

“The aim was to ensure our room names are inspiring, and to reflect the diversity that exists in science. We hope the name changes will further help to breakdown the ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ barrier.

“The pupil response has been positive and has prompted many more discussions about the scientists on the doors than ever before.”