The countdown and Strictly Come Dancing star has called on young girls to take up Maths and Science following a new survey that shows a rising interest in these subjects amongst children.
The survey, by the Cambridge Occupational Analysts, has found more students are interested in S.T.E.M subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) than others, such as English and Drama.
Riley, 28, said she was encouraged by the findings while promoting a new
Innovation that is giving children the chance to design a mobile app.
She said: “I’m certainly trying to encourage more girls to study Maths and Science, I think it’s really important. It is improving, people are picking it up, but the thing is, when people are studying it, they aren’t carrying it through.”
The study also found that young people felt more inspired by entrepreneurial figures, such as Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg and Apple’s Steve Jobs who came ahead of celebrity stars Simon Cowell and One Direction.
But the Oxford graduate was also concerned that there aren’t enough women like her who are able to inspire young girls to carry on with these subjects in later life.
She said: “I was at an all-girls school, I never met anybody that had been to Oxford and I think it’s about relate ability, you need role models that you can relate to who you can see yourself emulating.
“Maths and Science can be intimidating and people think that people are just born clever, that you’re born to be good at maths or you’re not born to be good at maths.
“But its inclusive, it’s not like that. If you keep trying, you can do it.”
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By Mark Kielesz-Levine