Everyday our society evolves and these evolutions progress our society to become more rich and dependent on STEM. STEM is a driving force behind innovation and new technology development that benefits all aspects of life. However, there remains a gender gap in STEM fields, with women significantly underrepresented in these industries. This gender gap not only limits STEM diversity but also hinders progress and innovation in these fields.
As educators, it is imperative to address this issue and encourage girls to pursue STEM careers. Over my ten years in education, I have worked towards a personal goal to do small things daily with my students that encourage students to see STEM as a career option. These things make a significant impact on encouraging more girls into STEM careers and fields. While it may seem trivial, every positive thing we can do as educators to encourage more girls into STEM makes a major impact!
To encourage more girls in STEM, we need to start early in their education. Often there are STEM initiatives at the high school level, but to make a significant impact, we need to start at the elementary level or earlier.
I like to use the same STEM concepts in our daily activities with our younger students that I do with my own daughters. I find small ways to incorporate STEM into our daily lives including discussing measurements and chemical and physical reactions when baking or counting distances from our house, to school, to the park. These simple things expose our female students to STEM at a young age with real-world examples they are encountering in their lives.
Meet Women in STEM
Female STEM role models can inspire and encourage girls to pursue STEM careers. Invite different women in STEM fields from your area to your school to talk to the girls. Or simply have posters of different STEM role models around the school. I love digital posters on our scrolling announcements at lunch.
You can also take a field trip to meet female STEM experts in their fields. Take a field trip to natural science museums and meet with a female paleontologist or go to the zoo and meet with a zoologist. You can also visit a local college and meet with female professors in different STEM fields.
Get into Technology
Only 25% of computer workers are women despite technology being the fastest-growing STEM field. Hands-on STEM experiences could include coding through different online coding websites or hosting a Girls Who Code club on your campus. Additionally, robotics gives girls the opportunity to build, experiment, and learn computer science. Robotic kits are becoming more and more affordable allowing them to be used more widely.
Just these small changes can have a major impact and encourage more girls into STEM! To learn more about Women in STEM, download this free infographic from STEM Supplies.