Introducing March8 Academy
March8 Academy wants to teach young children the importance of an equal and diverse world. Every single girl has the right to grow up knowing that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to, by working hard, being determined and having genuine passion.
Through March8 Academy, we will be working with young children aged six to 16, from all walks of life, to help them confidently create a place for themselves in the world. By working with schools, sharing books and hosting leading female speakers, we aim to educate, motivate and elevate girls, so they grow up knowing that there isn’t anything they can’t do.
Girls Think Of Everything, Madam President, and The Sky's the Limit are just a few of the inspirational books that children’s author Katherine Thimmesh has published to motivate girls and young women to consider careers in STEM subjects. But Katherine hasn’t always been on this path.
“I realised when I was quite young that I loved writing, but I didn’t necessarily think I could make a career out of it,” Katherine said. “But in my spare time, I took a class for writing for children at a gallery close by, and I really connected with the audience. When the gallery sadly failed, I was inspired to take a job in children’s publishing so I could learn more about the industry – and from there, I never looked back!”
Inspiring the next generation
Although Katherine found her natural talent for writing, her biggest motivation comes from inspiring girls and making a positive impact on their lives. She describes one of her proudest moments to be when a four-year-old girl declared to her parents that she had changed her career ambitions from being a Disney princess to studying palaeontology after reading her book, Lucy Long Ago.
But Katherine isn’t just interested in promoting STEM industries to girls – she wants to change the way in which they’re perceived. “There’s a common misconception that there are creative people and non-creative people in the world. Creative people like dance, art and music; non-creative people like science, technology, engineering and maths – but that’s not true,” Katherine says. “Creativity at its core is looking at the world in new and different ways. Therefore, when you're presented with problems, you have to discover unique and creative solutions.”
“Children also need to be taught the value that creativity has once they leave the classroom and enter the working world,” Katherine adds. “There are so many big companies that are looking for creative employees, and children need to have their creative muscles stretched, just like they do their maths and language muscles.”
Providing role models and positive influences
Through each of her books, Katherine celebrates the many pioneering women who have come before us to provide girls with accurate role models, and to prove that they too can follow in their footsteps, if they wish. “Representation really does matter,” Katherine says, “So it’s really important that we encourage, not discourage, girls.
“We need to show them that yes, there are hard parts of maths and science, but there are hard parts of every career path. Our job as mentors, parents and teachers is to highlight the really fun and worthwhile aspects of STEM. That’s why I love writing for children. I never want my books to be a chore to read. I want kids to pick up my books and feel inspired.”