Posts Tagged ‘Math’

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Fostering the Next Generation of STEM Women through Girl Scouting

July 18, 2016

STEM

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Studies of women and girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and careers is making headlines. Recently a story on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition explored how having so few women enrolled in STEM majors in college actually creates fewer opportunities for young women to feel confident in pursuing a STEM-related career.

The reason? A study at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst found that women who participate in STEM groups alongside other women feel more confident, energized and interested in pursuing a STEM career than in settings when they are the only woman in a group or in the minority.

In “Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” the Girl Scout Research Institute found that “girls who are interested in STEM are high achievers who have supportive adult networks and are exposed to STEM fields.” The report also found that many girls want to make a difference in the world and want to help people, yet they might not consider careers that use science and technology with the potential to change the way things are done, leading to change that helps people or improves the world.

More education is needed to help girls see that STEM careers can enable them to achieve their goals to help and serve. That’s where Girl Scouts can help! In a safe, all-girl setting, Girl Scouts of all ages have an ideal space in which to try science and engineering activities that they might not otherwise have attempted. Tips written especially for girls who may be thinking about STEM can be found here on our national web site.

Whether you’re a STEM professional or not, you, our amazing volunteers, can make all the difference for our girls! Encourage girls to pursue thought-provoking, educational opportunities such as our own Summer Science Camp, our TechnoQuest career mentoring days, and hands-on exploration events at museums, robotics and other activities leading to STEM-related badges.  Simply with your encouragement, you can plant the seeds to grow the next generation of STEM women professionals! To learn more about opportunities we offer, visit the Events Calendar on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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