Brainly conducted a study to learn more about girls in STEM. Their findings show that girls’ interest in STEM subjects peaks in Middle School (56%) and drops significantly by the time their high school careers come to a close (40%). As the fastest growing segment of jobs, it’s clear the future of STEM needs women.
How can we keep girls interested in STEM subjects? Brainly’s parenting expert, Patrick Quinn, has some tips for educators and parents everywhere. “Representation matters. Do you know that when children are asked to draw a picture of a scientist or mathematician, they almost universally draw men? Our girls aren’t seeing themselves in STEM professions on a subconscious level, so we need to start teaching about women making waves in the STEM community.”
Brainly encourages parents and educators to implement the below steps to keep girls engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics:
>> Teach about women in STEM
Look past Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein and start teaching our children about the likes of Computer Programmer Ada Lovelace, Mathematician and Rocket Scientist Annie Easley, Primatologist and Anthropologist Jane Goodall, Physicist and Chemist Marie Sklodowska-Curie, Chemist Edith Flanigen, and more. Giving girls a relatable hero to look up to will increase their interest in STEM. Four women who are celebrated for their work in STEM professions are doing their part to raise expectations for women and increase their visibility in this field.
>> Pique their interest
Share how STEM relates to our daily lives and how it can be used to solve the future’s challenges. Have kids who like to bake? Learn the chemistry behind cooking, and how you’re producing an endothermic chemical reaction as you bake a cake. Do your teens love to play video games? Encourage them to learn how to code their own.
>> Create engaging lesson plans and use different teaching formats
Did you know girls tend to score better on tests with open-ended answers? Use less multiple choice questions in exams and incorporate more questions that cannot be answered with static responses.
>> Extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom
There are many ways in which parents and students can continue STEM learning at home. Encourage students to explore the Brainly app’s various STEM Textbooks via Brainly’s Textbook Detective or help other students in the Brainly app struggling with STEM concepts. Host a STEM Night for homeschool families. Send students home with age-appropriate STEM sheets.
If you would like to learn more about how we can keep young women engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, here is a link to a compelling new resource that you might find useful: