Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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Girl Scouts Bridge the Gender Gap with STEM

November 12, 2013

By Krista Park, Communications & Marketing Director

Today more girls are showing interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and STEM-based activities.  But despite this growing curiosity, girls still are not choosing medicine, science, technology and engineering as their number one career path.

Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines has prioritized STEM in an effort to help girls bridge the existing gender gap that within these male-dominant career fields and provides opportunities for girls to enhance their exposure to and deepen their engagement in STEM.

Girl Scout Research Institute’s report, Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, highlights that while a majority of today’s girls have a clear interest in STEM, they do not prioritize STEM fields when thinking about their future careers.

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Research in the report shows that 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study. Further, a high 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” And yet, few girls consider it their number-one career option: 81 percent of girls interested in STEM are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13 percent say it’s their first choice.

Additionally, girls express that they do not know a lot about STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields, with 60 percent of STEM-interested girls acknowledging that they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers.

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Girl Scouts has a proud history of supporting girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through our robust programs and mentoring initiatives. This study only reaffirms what we already know – that it is important to support girls at a young age and make learning about STEM fun and engaging.”

As to what girls are drawn to with regard to these subjects, Generation STEM notes that the creative and hands-on aspects of STEM hold the most appeal. Girls enjoy the hands-on aspect of exploration and discovery and recognize the benefits of a challenge: 89 percent of all girls agree that “obstacles make me stronger.”

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Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines partners with many STEM-based companies and organizations across its 41-council territory including Cisco Systems, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Motorola, Red Hat, Time Warner Cable and RTI International. Girls are offered a vast array of programming throughout the year in hopes that girls of all ages can experience fun, hands-on activities exploring STEM fields and careers.

test tubeGirls are also aware that gender barriers persist in today’s society: 57 percent of those studied concur that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”

When girls succeed, so does society. We all have a role to play in making girls feel supported and capable when it comes to involvement in STEM fields—and anything else they set their minds to and have traditionally been steered away from.

 

Girls and STEM_Girl Scout Findings

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The Top 10 Awesome Things about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)

May 6, 2013

By Deanna Welker, Program Director

stem blog picDid you brush your teeth this morning?  I bet you didn’t think about the chemists that worked hard on your toothpaste’s formulation, or the engineers who designed that amazing rotating toothbrush you used.  But thank goodness for those people, right?  Scientists and engineers make our lives better.  Seriously, it’s true!  Here’s my list of some more reasons why STEM is so awesome:

10) Superstars like Will.i.am and our Gadget Girls team which competed in the FIRST Robotics Program this year.

9) Jobs!  Statistics show that college students in STEM fields are more likely to graduate with a good job waiting for them, AND women in STEM jobs earn more than those in non-STEM jobs.  The starting salary for most engineers is more than $55,000 per year.

8) Space Travel.  (Well, sort of…)  Did you know that one of the people who drives the Mars Rover, Curiosity, is a woman?  Her name is Vandi Tompkins.  And with tomorrow’s advances, you might end up on another planet someday.

7) Computers.  We all use them.  From computer-aided interior design to designing roller coasters, there’s so much you can do on a computer.

6) Cell phones.  Imagine creating the next generation of communication devices or spending your days developing cool apps.

5) Medicine.  From doctors and veterinarians to pharmacists and chemists, professionals everyday are using STEM to help others.

4) Fighting crime.   TV shows like CSI and Elementary only scratch at the surface of how STEM is being used to catch criminals. Forensics is one of the fastest growing STEM fields.

3) Opportunities.  Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is lucky to have some great places to explore the world of STEM, including museums, planetariums, and education centers.

2) Making the world a better place.  STEM skills will be used to cure cancer, eradicate disease, and better food production around the world.  Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?!

1) And my top reason that STEM is awesome is… Girls are good at it!

Girl Scout’s latest study, Generation STEM, shows that girls are highly interested in the process of learning, ask questions, and are creative problem solvers.  Additionally, girls are more likely to want to help others.  With a mind and a heart that are both well developed, there’s nothing a girl can’t do!

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