Weekly Digest #52: How to make a Barbie: Girls in STEM
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed that girls scored higher than boys in math and science ability as well as problem-solving skills. For the general public, this is a surprising finding because stereotypes dictate that boys should clearly outperform girls when it comes to these skills. In addition, young girls (< 9 years) are generally interested in Science and like it. As girls get older, however, they are more and more discouraged to engage in Science and Math – leaving the floor to their male peers. This all happens even though many girls have the necessary skill set to perform extremely well in STEM subjects. Today’s digest presents different resources for parents to motivate their daughters to stick with their love for STEM.
Prof Joan Williams gives an overview of five psychological biases that make it harder for girls to pursue careers in STEM. Different scientific findings and theories are reviewed which provides clear recommendations for parents. We covered gender biases in children in a previous guest post, too.
2. Bridging the Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls in STEM Starts at Home by Alicia Chang, @aliciac
This article by Alicia Chang describes how parents unconsciously communicate in different ways with their daughters versus sons and how this may affect girls’ interest and confidence in STEM. It’s an interesting perspective to think about.
In this post, five actions are described that can encourage girls to stick with STEM and encourage them not to lose confidence in their abilities. Exposing girls to Science and Math through tailored programs can boost their interest and decision to continue pursuing a career in STEM.
We think that girls should start attending scientific conferences at an early age to prepare them for when they need to attend them in the future for their career. Girlstart organizes a STEM conference just for girls. This year the conference will take place in Austin, Texas (US) on April 22, 2017. Registration for it is still open. In addition to the conference, Girlstart also has multiple summer camps available where girls can discover their interest in Science.
This website is about the VEW Robotics competition (UK) that is, in principle, open to all pupils, but they have started an initiative to get more girls involved in this competition. In their statement on “Why it is important” to encourage more girls to pursue careers in engineering, they acknowledge the need to close the gender gap in STEM. Thus, after your confidence has been boosted using the aforementioned resources, why not engage in a competition like this to show off your skills, girls?
Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Occasionally we publish a guest digest, and If you'd like to propose a guest digest click here. Our 5 most recent digests can be found here: