The STEM for Girls movement (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is getting a lot of attention from the press and toy companies right now, but why is STEM for girls so important? This month I participated in a twitter chat with Green Works (as part of this sponsored post) to learn more. This video (produced by Green Works) provides a brief overview:
- Women fill almost half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, but they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs.
- When asked to draw a picture of a scientist, only 14% of girl students drew a female scientist.
- 80% of future jobs require a STEM education.
- People in STEM jobs earn almost double per hour on average.
- Currently only 10% of high school girls show an interest in STEM.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do at home to bring STEM to life for girls! Here are a few posts from my blog to give you some ideas:
- Fun Science: Candy Experiments
- Raising Kids Who Love Math
- STEM Fun for Kids: Code Your Name in Jewelry
- Using Microscopes With Young Children
- The New K’NEX Mighty Makers STEM Toy for Girls
You can find more great inspiration on these Pinterest boards I run:
Here are some books for further inspiration (affiliate links):
- Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
- Cool Engineering Activities for Girls
- The Math Book for Girls: and Other Beings Who Count
- Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists
- Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers
- Nobel Prize Women in Science:: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries (for parents to read or older children)
- Who Was Sally Ride?
- Who Is Jane Goodall?
- Who Was Amelia Earhart?
- Who Was Rachel Carson?
- Who Was Marie Curie?
There are many incredible female role models when you go looking for them! One that I had throughout my life is the female pediatric oncologist who treated me when I had cancer.
Do you have a favorite female scientist, technology guru, engineer, or mathematician that my kids should be learning about? How about a favorite activity or book?
This post was sponsored by Green Works. All ideas and opinions are my own.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
11 thoughts on “Why Is STEM for Girls Important?”
Wow! I had no idea that only 14% of girls draw women scientists!
I would really love to see citations if you are going to quote statistics such as these as it would actually make you a reliable source. Thanks.
Women fill almost half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, but they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs.
When asked to draw a picture of a scientist, only 14% of girl students drew a female scientist.
80% of future jobs require a STEM education.
People in STEM jobs earn almost double per hour on average.
Currently only 10% of high school girls show an interest in STEM.
I got the stats from the sponsor (Green Works), but I will email them and ask for sources for you.
“When asked to draw a picture of a scientist, only 14% of girl students drew a female scientist.”
Wow! This is so telling! We have work to do!
That is a great list of resources that I will definitely be referring back to with my own daughter. Those statistics, however, are terrifying. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. I was one of only 2 female mechanical engineers in my graduating class in college. Grad school wasn’t much better. I just kind of assume things are improving over time, but it’s clear that a real effort is going to need to be made before the roles are more balanced. Science is so much fun, I would hate for girls to automatically disregard it as a possibility.
My mom set this tone for me. She is an RN, which is a traditionally female field. However, her interest in science and example of professional excellence made STEM an obvious choice for both her daughters.
I love how your posts include things that girls are naturally interested in. It’s a huge myth that girls don’t like STEM. They actually do.
It’s nice having a girl – boy mix in our homeschool environment. While my daughter is the youngest, she learns right along side her older brother and science is beloved subject. She has no idea that traditionally girls weren’t “interested” in science.
I’ve loved learning about Jane Goodall and her research since I was a little girl. Both my children and I found “Me . . . Jane” by Patrick McDonnell quite enchanting. It’s an excellent biography for young children.
I want to hope that the ratio of women in STEM will go significantly up by the time our girls are ready to choose their jobs. After all, once upon a time, only a fraction of women was going to college, and now it’s more than 50%. I think STEM might be that way too one day.
Sadly, even though I have worked with a few senior women in technology roles, I didn’t find many that I would want to model my life after. Some of the women I went to university with are able to be a bit more balanced, which I find encouraging for my daughters’ sake.
STEM is soooo important! My son goes to a STEM school and you’re right, people who work in STEM fields tend to make more, and nearly all jobs require these skills. I think the whole conversation with girls needs to change in general. No more telling them how pretty they are 10x a day but only say they’re brilliant once.
This post reminds me I had a writing assignment I was going to give the kids to pick who should go on the next $10 bill. The US treasury is planning on putting a woman on it.
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