5 Ways for Girls to Love STEM - KitHub

5 Ways for Girls to Love STEM

Despite our best efforts, men still outnumber women in STEM related careers. Research shows that negative stereotypes and lack of encouragement about going into STEM fields can wear away girls’ interest in STEM subjects over time. These biases are often shown in small ways that add up over a girl’s childhood -- seeing more males play programmers, mathematicians, and scientists on TV, getting only dolls and kitchen sets as gifts rather than science kits and architecture blocks, or simply not being told about STEM opportunities in or after school.

Engineer Like a Girl

Just like small moments wear away at girls’ interest in STEM, small changes can make a difference in encouraging girls to try STEM too. It’s important to help girls explore science, technology, engineering, and math in a constructive way by providing experience free of bias and misconceptions on the educators part. Many well-meaning teachers still have a misconception that boys are better at math or are more likely to have higher IQ’s. These ideas have been proven false by research and can be very harmful to students who might otherwise excel in math and science.

Repeated exposure to STEM experiences in multiple contexts is the best way to overcome the various ways girls get discouraged from math and science subjects. This helps girls gain a rich understanding of STEM and STEAM careers, build a sense of community within STEM pursuits, and gives girls an opportunity to track personal growth as they learn.

In order to make small changes towards progress, we’ve collected a list of various ways to get girls involved in STEM/STEAM:​

PLAY

Classroom Electronics Kits K-2

Plenty of research and evidence suggests that play and informal learning cultivates kids' interest in STEM.

There are an endless amount of project ideas and toys that aim to get girls involved in STEM. 

WATCH

Power Puff Girls STEM

Check out PBS's SciGirls or Physics Girl on YouTube. We are SO excited that The Powerpuff Girls will introduce STEM into its episodes!

- Meet Girl Day Role Model Victoria Ibarra
- Meet Girl Day Role Model LaTisha Durham
- Meet Girl Day Role Model Sarah Mihm

LISTEN

Stuff Mom Never Told You

The women at Stuff Mom Never Told You cover a wide range of topics relevant to girls, including STEM topics.

COLLABORATE

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Keep an eye out for the next Girls Love STEM Conference. You can also find a makerspace and build a STEAM-loving community.

If you don’t have one near you, Makezine.com’s article describes how to start a girl friendly makerspace.

READ

Follow up on awesome STEAM role models. Recently, a group of middle school girls launched a camera into space!

We love Ellen Ochoa, the current director of the Johnson Space Center.

We also enjoyed reading about Youyou Tu, the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

All kids benefit from getting girls involved in STEM. Our goal is to make STEAM a routine environment that is comfortable for boys, girls, teachers, and parents to participate in. Keep checking back for fun STEM/STEAM ideas!

MORE RESOURCES

Effective STEM Programs for Adolescent Girls: Three Approaches and Many Lessons Learned by Harriet S. Mosatche, Susan Matloff-Nieves, Linda Kekelis, and Elizabeth K. Lawner

Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by Catherine Hill, Ph.D. Christianne Corbett, & Andresse St. Rose, Ed.D.

Cascading Influences: Long-Term Impacts of Informal STEM Experiences for Girls by Dale McCreedy, Ph.D. and Lynn D. Dierking, Ph.D. Edited by Lisa Jo Rudy​

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