Advertisement

TikTok launches new feed dedicated to Stem in bid to engage young people

TikTok launches new feed dedicated to Stem in bid to engage young people

TikTok will launch a new dedicated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) feed in a move which creators hope will “inspire” young people to “project themselves into different careers”.

The feed, exclusively featuring videos exploring Stem topics, will be available to the social media platform’s users in the UK and Ireland alongside the For You page from Tuesday.

According to TikTok, almost 15 million Stem-related videos have been published globally in the last three years, with some creators gaining large followings from users who are interested in pursuing careers in the industry or finding out more information.

The new addition is aimed at encouraging young people to explore Stem subjects and access fun and educational videos from experts studying or working in the field.

Dr Clara Nellist, 36, a particle physicist at Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, uses her TikTok platform to take her 206,000 followers with her as she conducts research which involves “smashing protons together at almost the speed of light”.

“The launch of the Stem feed is really exciting and being able to reach people with the science we do at Cern is fantastic,” Dr Nellist, who is from Coventry and now splits her time between Amsterdam and Geneva, told the PA news agency.

“Personally, I want us to be able to reach people who haven’t been exposed to it before and the Stem feed will mean that people who perhaps didn’t think that science was for them might see some videos, see the jokes, see the content being accessible for them, and have a change a heart.

Clara Nellist
Dr Clara Nellist uses her platform on TikTok to show followers around the Cern site in Geneva (Clara Nellist/PA)

“It’s a really nice way of helping students project themselves into different careers in the future and I hope lots of students get inspired by the content there.”

As well as creating videos using popular music or trends to get her audience to engage with her science-related content, Dr Nellist, who goes by the name Particle Clara on the platform, launches TikTok live streams from the Cern site.

“It’s really fantastic that I can get my phone out and wander around the site, I go 100 metres underground to our experiment and launch a TikTok Live and there are hundreds of people there with me,” she said.

Dr Clara Nellist
Dr Clara Nellist said the launch of the Stem feed on TikTok is ‘really exciting’ (Clara Nellist/PA)

She added that TikTok is having an impact on education in the way the platform is “bringing back learning for fun”.

Eleonora Svanberg, 24, a PhD student studying theoretical physics at Oxford University, has dedicated her TikTok platform to “inspire” young people to look further into Stem-related subjects and to act as a “role model” for women in the field.

“For me, (the Stem feed) means a lot, not only will my passion for Stem reach a wider audience, we’ll also be able to present more diverse people doing Stem and hopefully reach more people that could see themselves doing Stem,” Miss Svanberg, from Sweden and living in Oxford, told the PA news agency.

Eleonora Svanberg
Eleonora Svanberg uses her TikTok platform to be a ‘role model’ for women in Stem (Ariana Ghatan/PA)

“Most of the time during my studies, I’ve been the only girl in my class and I acknowledge that the lack of role models to me has been really challenging and challenging for other girls out there.”

Miss Svanberg, who has more than 136,000 followers on TikTok, said she uses her platform to create fun and trendy videos to be “relatable” and “transparent” and to show her audience that Stem subjects are “accessible”.

Eleonora Svanberg
Eleonora Svanberg said Stem subjects should not be viewed as ‘unreachable’ (Ariana Ghatan/PA)

“I’m not afraid to speak about the feelings around doing Stem , so a lot of my content is about me feeling stupid while studying mathematics because that’s a part of learning mathematics,” she said.

“I don’t think Stem should be viewed as something elitist or something that is unreachable, we should all welcome everyone with open arms.

“I get daily messages from young girls around the world saying that I’ve inspired them to pursue Stem and that means the world to me.”

The new TikTok Stem feed
The TikTok feed for Stem-related content will be available alongside the For You page on the platform (TikTok/PA)

TikTok users under the age of 18 will have the new feed turned on by default, but can opt out, while over 18 can switch it on via their content settings in the app.

The feed will also include English-speaking content with auto-translate subtitles which will be fact-checked by two independent organisations.

It will be expanded across Europe in the coming weeks following the launch of the feed in the United States, which has seen a third of teenagers visiting the page on a weekly basis, according to TikTok.