Why aren’t more girls in STEM?

This is a topic of great interest to me and probably should be a separate blog.

There was an informative piece on NPR radio August 9 that addresses the challenge, Why Aren’t More Girls Attracted To Physics? A new study points to the crucial importance of local community role modelswomen in STEM fields–in influencing the choices younger women are making about STEM education and careers.

  • Three years ago I obtained funding to offer an all-girls week long summer robotics camp. My vision was to eventually replace myself and the young men seving as mentors from our school’s robotics team with women teachers and female student mentors–female role models. This year it happened! We had an all female staff and some 40 middle school girls participate.
  • My teaching partner in this is starting her own organization locally to expand this camp idea. My partner is a female middle school teacher who works in a high poverty school and has started LEGO Robotics and her all-girl MESA team made it to nationals this year!

It’s awkward: I always feel creepy when I attend school and community events with my students and try to recruit more girls for STEM programs at my school, “Hey little girl… ” eeeew!!). And it also sounds weird when I say “I’m looking for women… ” But I am! I am seeking women (see, doesn’t that seem awkward?) to serve as mentors for my pre-engineering and robotics classes at my school.

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