Highlight Female STEM Role Models: Representation can have a powerful effect on a student’s growth. By demonstrating how history is filled with amazing women who revolutionized our understanding of STEM, we can encourage our students to do the same. Stock up on books that highlight and celebrate the remarkable contributions women have made to STEM. Use a science lesson to highlight Rosalind Franklin or Eugenie Clark. Give your students a hero they can look up to.
Foster Perseverance: Research has shown that girls believe that perfection is the key to success which hinders risk-taking and learning from mistakes. Instead, teach them that mistakes are a part of life, and that success is controllable by praising controllable characteristics. Encourage a failure-friendly culture in your classroom and have students record their wonderful mistakes. Use reflection journals to examine what they learned.
Promote Collaboration: STEM is not done in isolation. No new discovery will ever come from just one individual. Recent research has found that females find social interactions more rewarding than males. Promote the importance of social connections, belonging, and collaboration to STEM success.
Our students – especially the young girls in our classrooms – have the potential to change the world. When given the support they need, they can grow into extraordinary thinkers.
So, let’s make sure they have all the tools necessary to thrive in the field of STEM. Help young girls foster their hunger for academic knowledge by making intentional changes to your curriculum. Who knows? The next great science discovery could begin in your classroom!
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