Magazine article Curriculum Review

All Grades: Six Ways to Encourage STEM Participation in Girls

Magazine article Curriculum Review

All Grades: Six Ways to Encourage STEM Participation in Girls

Article excerpt

Even though women comprise 47 percent of the workforce, they hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields, according to the nonprofit Million Women Mentors as reported by District Administration. But to fuel interest in STEM fields, school administrators and teachers can invite women working in STEM fields to engage with students at school or in their workplace, the article stated.

"We need to open up females' eyes to the possibilities of STEM, and make sure they know having a STEM career can help them change the world," said Talmesha Richards, chief academic and diversity officer at Million Women Mentors, which aims to get more females to pursue STEM careers, to District Administration. "Making that real-life connection is key if we want to move the needle quicker."

Some ways for administrators and teachers to support female STEM students include the following:

* Get Them Interested Early in Childhood. "Kids are born natural scientists," said Melissa Moritz, deputy director of STEM initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education to the magazine. "Teachers should learn to encourage them to ask questions, explore the world around them and draw connections between things they see and observe."

* Make Teaching Methods 3D. Students respond well to problem-based learning, yet STEM subjects often rely on rote memorization. "We need to teach in a way so students are doing STEM, not just absorbing it," Moritz said. For example, students can learn about physics by building a structure with real materials, instead of just reading about it in a textbook. …

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