Women Of Steel: Sheffield ScienceGrrl event 6.30pm

Women of Steel statue scale model
Women of Steel statue scale model
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There’s a sciecne to fundraising for Sheffield’s Women Of Steel statue - or at least there will be tonight.

A night of science themed fun has been organised by ScienceGrrl, an network organisation celebrating and supporting women in science, and Sheffield Neuro Girls, a group of Sheffield University neuroscience students.

They are planning mind-bending brain games, quizzes, music, drinks and cakes at the city’s Showroom Cinema, 15 Paternoster Row, tonight (Wednesday, April 30, 2014), from 6.30pm.

Profits will go towards the Women Of Steel Appeal, for a £150,000 statue to hobnour the womern who kept the steel mills going while their men went off to fight in two world wars.

The appeal is now just £14,000 away from its target and lots of fundraising is taking place to get the appeal over the finishing line, say organisers.

The newly formed Sheffield chapter of ScienceGrrl teamed up with Sheffield Neuro Girls and friends to take on the Women of Steel fundraiser challenge.

“They were given a tenner by Sheffield University and promised to turn it into at least £100 to give back to the project,” said Dr Jen Lewis, ScienceGrrl Sheffield Co-ordinator, a research associate in neural modelling at the University of Sheffield.

“ We’re doing this with a night of science themed fun and games. For only £5 entry guests can enter our quiz for fabulous prizes, lucky dip and more, and play with some seriously fun science, including a mind control brain game.

“During World War II, many women of Sheffield were conscripted into the steel factories while the men were sent away to fight. There’s been a huge fundraising effort in Sheffield to erect a memorial in town to these wonderful Women of Steel, but they’re still a few grand short of the target.”

ScienceGrrl is a not-for-profit private limited company limited, run by volunteers, the majority of whom are working scientists.

Jen, explaining her role and how the Sheffield chapter came about, said: “Being a woman in a heavily male dominated field has, on the whole, not been a problematic experience for me. In fact, I think I got a bit of a kick out of it for a while during the first couple of years of my PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of an extremely supportive and inspiring boss.

In 2011, I attended my first academic conference, and it was at this time that my understanding of the issues surrounding women in science changed dramatically.

Ever since, I’ve been far more aware of the generally poor representation of women in science and passionate about changing it, so when I found out that ScienceGrrl had loads of local chapters but not one in Sheffield, it was a no-brainer to get one established.

ScienceGrrl Sheffield kicked off when 50 guests, from a huge diversity of backgrounds, attended a drinks and quiz night at the Showroom in Januaray.

It was a great evening. I for one had a fabulous time and I was so pleased to see so many people come and get involved. We had interest from far and wide, and I was later interviewed about the beginnings of ScienceGrrl Sheffield for the Science Brainwaves radio show, and the fantastic Science podcast ‘In The Abstract’.”

* For more information about the event and ScienceGrrl, including how to become a member, visit www.sciencegrrl.co.uk, like on Facebook at tinyurl.com/scigrrlshefFB and follow on Twitter at @science_grrl and on Tumblr at sciencegrrl.tumblr.com.

Follow Jen on Twitter @science_fairy and Sheffield Neuro Girls on @Shef_NeuroGirls.

* Are you organising an event for the Women Of Steel Appeal? Email yo0ur details, with Women Of Steeel Fundraiser in the subject field, to graham.walker@thestar.co.uk.

Make a donation to The Women Of Steel appeal now at www.justgiving.com/womenofsteel.