According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in 2014 on 18% of Computer Science graduates in the US were women. It is imperative that we encourage girls to study the STEM fields. In less than 10 years the US will need 1.7 million more engineers and computer scientists. The AAUW states that this “strengthens the talent pool and leads to better creativity, innovation and productivity” . See “Solving the Equation Quick Facts”.
Why aren’t there more girls entering STEM fields? According to Forbes.com in an article by Talia Milgrom-Elcott (Sept 11, 2018), “A study conducted by Microsoft found that 72% of the girls polled said it was important for them to have jobs that directly helped the world, but only 37% thought of STEM careers as being creative or making the world better.”
We have always presented out classes in an explorer and discover environment. We do this by giving students plenty of time to experiment with the platforms we are using to introduce any concept, from spelling and counting with preschoolers, to robotics and programming with older students. (Click here for our Summer Flyer 2019) Often creativity and inspiration comes during these points in our classes.
As parents we know that a wild interest can be spurred in children from unexpected places and they should be exposed a variety of topics, using a variety of media, to inspire them and to broaden their horizons for their future.
Dr. Warren Buckleitner of The Children’s Technology Review has given the app Women Who Changed the World a fairly high rating. The app was developed by LearnyLand($2.99 on iOS) and is for ages 7-up.
Eight strong female role models are highlighted in this well designed high-quality, interactive experience. The interactions, quiz questions, reading, audio and graphics all combine into solid interactive book experience. The history lessons are recommended for children of both genders. The text is narrated in clear English, and the stories give you the chance to control the central characters. You can “fly” Amelia Earhart’s plane, answering short multiple choice questions, and testing your historical knowledge.
The website A Mighty Girl has a variety of things that you and your children might enjoy. They recently shared a variety of downloadable posters celebrating diverse women role models in STEM. If you visit the 70 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls you may end up with an overflowing Amazon shopping cart.
If you would like more information on this topic we recommend that you visit The National Girls Collaborative Project at www.NGCProject.org