Port Noarlunga Primary School

Girls in Science

Jun 28, 2022 | class story

by Desma McMillan (Year 3/4 Teacher)

This term I was lucky enough to work with a wonderful group of Year 3 and 4 girls from Mrs Parkes, Mrs Smale, and my class for science. This was a unique experience for me and one that I truly enjoyed. 

Science as a Human Endeavor

The girls first entered the classroom with lots of trepidation at the prospect of working with other girls and a different teacher. We spent our first lesson together considering the valuable contributions to science that women and girls have made throughout history. Most people are aware of Marie Curie and the significant contributions that she made with her work on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and the only person to win Nobel prizes in two different sciences: physics and chemistry. 

I felt awesome with more girls around because we got to learn how to research. I would like to try to research again. I felt more confident to share.


The girls were all aware of Marie Curie, but were unable to mention any other significant woman within the science field. This struck me with a grave sense of travesty that our girls had only one female to look up to as a role model in the field of science, and one that is no longer living. 

We researched many other women in science, past and present, and became excited by their achievements. We didn’t fully understand many of the achievements in science terms, but were now more excited by what we had discovered. There was an overriding sense that we could be a team of scientists. This felt like a positive step forward for me. I was delighted by the girls’ excitement and really looking forward to working with them. 

Throughout the term I noticed that the girls became more and more comfortable with working with each other. They began to be more comfortable with expressing their thoughts and opinions. We laughed together a lot, experienced disappointment with failed experiments and encouraged each other to have another try. To me this is all the work of true scientists. They accept failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Some thoughts from the girls:

I like science because we can get a little silly without the boys going crazy. I enjoyed all the experiments and want to do them again. Gemma

It was good without the boys because sometimes they are very pushy. I learnt about researching different things. I felt more confident sharing things with all of the girls. Gracie

I felt more confident to share and it is cool how girls are everywhere. It was more quiet and I loved doing experiments and learning about solids and liquids & gasses. Mae

It felt good at science without the boys because there wasn’t as much noise. And I learnt in science was which crayons melted first and which liquids freeze first. April

I like science without the boys. It is nice and quiet because some boys can be very loud.We get lots of work done. We do very fun thing’s. It felt so fun without the boys. I have learnt so many things like researching, testing food and how to do experiments. Holly 

I felt awesome with more girls around because we got to learn how to research. I would like to try to research again. I felt more confident to share. Aleeah

Some interesting sites to view

4 female scientists today who are changing the world:


22 pioneering women in science history you really should know about:


International Day of Women and Girls in Science:


The STEM Gap: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


Latest Porties Post stories:
Principal’s Update — Week 11, Term 1, 2024

Principal’s Update — Week 11, Term 1, 2024

by Marie Wright, Principal. Dear all, We have nearly made it to the end of our first term for 2024. It has been a BIG term in so many ways. We started the year with a large Reception intake – Sixty nine 4 and 5 year olds make a big impact but we have seen so much...

JP Outdoor Education 2024

JP Outdoor Education 2024

On Friday the 15th of March, Miss Emily, Mrs Gwatking, Miss Bayly, Mr Josh, Mrs Alana, Mrs Ehlers and Miss Butcher’s class had a wonderful day with NaturePlay SA! 🏕️ We had a lovely enclosed area full of shade and activities to explore at the Joseph Fisher picnic...

District Athlects Sports Day 2024

District Athlects Sports Day 2024

Well done to all our athletes who participated in the District Sports Day at Tatachilla College on Monday 8th April. Their attitude to aiming high and giving it their best was awesome! The team came 3rd overall in our district which is fantastic as we are just the 7th...

Closing the Gap Day 2024

Closing the Gap Day 2024

The Close the Gap Campaign began in 2007 and aims to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation. Closing the Gap Day helps promote and connect people with businesses...