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Careers in Optics Promoted

Ambassadors “Skirt with Science” to promote ‘careers in optics’ to teenage girls in Solihull

April 2012

Dispensing Optician, Simone Mason from Eyesite Eyecare Centres, Coventry teamed up with Optometrist Susan Bowers from Susan R Bowers, Coventry to take part in their FIRST ‘new dimension’ workshop since their training to become ‘ambassadors’ for the ‘Careers in Optics’ initiative.

The event was held in Solihull at Light Hall School, and was organised by the Soroptimist International (an organisation for career women) Solihull & District and Solihull Council.

The event was organised to introduce teenage girls to enthusiastic scientists, to open the eyes of these young people to the exciting career opportunities available when taking science subjects for their GCSE’s.

The ‘New Dimension in optics’ workshops combined scientific theory, optical illusions and Interview Role-Plays and Susan and Simone were on hand to share their experiences and knowledge in a question and answer session.

What did the students think?

The girls were given a pre-questionnaire and a post-questionnaire to fill out to compare what they knew of optometry and optics before the session to that of their knowledge after the session. 

84% of the girls had been for an eye examination and of the sample 15% answered ‘don’t know’ to the question: List three words that you’d associate with a career in optometry.  After the session – the same question was asked and the results showed 100% of the girls answering three words they would associate with a career in optometry.

The session obviously had an impact. The girls definitely enjoyed the session with 94% stating it was ‘fun and engaging’ in the questionnaire. Encouragingly, more than ¾ were considering  their career options. Following the workshop, more than half said they would recommend optometry and optics as a career choice.

These results are consistent with the pilot studies that have been conducted.

The students were enjoying the sessions so much, but as the workshop was time constrained – they often had to be ‘dragged away’ before they had completed the ‘zone’.  The most appreciated topics are depicted by graph below.

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