6 female tech leaders offer advice for women in STEM

It’s common knowledge that engaging–and retaining–girls and women in STEM classes, STEM degrees, and STEM careers is an ongoing challenge.

Some key elements in this equation are representation, along with ensuring girls and women have role models to support them in their STEM learning and career paths.

The pandemic has prompted many workers to change their career paths, and many STEM sectors like cybersecurity struggle with talent shortages. Women only account for 28 percent of the STEM workforce today.…Read More

3 ways to create curriculum with real-life relevance

When a school is fortunate to have exceptional teachers with diverse backgrounds, those teachers can draw on their experiences and interests to create a strong, engaging, and original curriculum.

Our school, Laurel School, is one such school. Laurel School is a nationally recognized independent K-12 day school for girls, and it includes a co-ed pre-primary as well.

The curriculum is shaped in part by a diverse staff with unique interests and a creative mentality for turning those interests into special opportunities for our learners. The curriculum reflects research on the power of growth mindset, best practices for girls, and proven approaches for introducing girls to the fascinating world of STEM and STEAM professions.…Read More

imagiLabs brings coding to teenage girls’ phones with imagiCharm wearable accessory

imagiLabs is the all-female founded Stockholm-based startup that aims to bridge the gender divide in coding with its imagiCharm: a device which can be visually customised by coding into an accompanying mobile app.

The imagiCharm’s 8×8 matrix of LEDs can be customised to display tens of thousands of different designs, such as flowers, rising suns, animals etc., based upon the Python code written by the user into the imagiLabs iOS or Android apps, which connect to the device via Bluetooth.

By using Python to change the appearance of the accessory, girls are shown the real-world applications and possibilities of programming and what physical manifestations of code can look like. …Read More

Scholastic Teams Up with 5 Female Leaders to Debut New “Rising Voices” K–5 Classroom Library Collection to Empower Girls in STEAM

The Second Collection in the Rising Voices Library® Series Features Powerful Messages from Industry Mentors to Shatter Misconceptions About Girls as Future Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math 

New York, NY – June 16, 2021 – Scholastic has announced the launch of Rising Voices: Books Empowering Girls in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math). This new classroom library collection provides K–5 students and educators with culturally relevant and representative books paired with teaching materials, designed to enrich identity development, build literacy skills, and support CASEL-aligned social-emotional learning. Despite representing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, women made up only 27% of those employed in science, technology, engineering, and math in 2019*. Among the women who have made it into this workforce, few are women of color. Rising Voices: Books Empowering Girls in STEAM showcases girls and women as protagonists succeeding in a variety of STEAM fields, and celebrates inspiring stories of curiosity, creative problem-solving, leadership, collaboration, persistence, and vision. With the inclusion of select titles focused on the arts, this collection recognizes artistic pursuits for the value they bring to society and for their significance in enhancing STEM efforts. 

Learn more about the Scholastic Rising Voices Library series: www.scholastic.com/risingvoicessteam …Read More

imagiLabs raises $300k pre-seed to further bridge the gender gap in coding

imagiLabs (www.imagilabs.com), the all-female founded startup that makes coding more accessible to young girls, has raised $300k (€250k) in pre-seed funding, allowing it to further equip the next generation of working women with critical coding skills.

Angel investors participating in the round include Eros Resmini, Founder & Managing Partner at The Mini Fund and the former CMO of messaging platform Discord; David Baszucki, CEO of gaming giant Roblox; members of Atomico’s Angel Program; and Propel Capital, the investment arm of Stockholm’s leading tech incubator Sting. 

A number of high profile proponents of gender equality in technology participated in the round. The financing will be used to maintain imagiLabs’ significant international growth and to continue to foster an engaged community of young girl coders, who use the imagiLabs apps to learn from each other, share coding tips and designs, and build relationships.…Read More

How our coding platform helps us teach STEM

In a district where most of our students receive free or reduced lunches, we have next to no access to high-quality STEM programs, computer science classes, or coding courses. When I was Googling different ways to fill some of these gaps and incorporate more STEM into my Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) after-school club, I discovered an online coding platform and coding competitions that are both accessible and affordable.

This was a big find. I wanted my students to excel and compete effectively with important college and career and STEM skills, regardless of how rich or poor our school district was, but we just didn’t have the resources to make that happen. I was looking for a platform that taught basic computer coding, and one that would allow anyone at any skill level to jump in and participate.

I also wanted a program that included robotics, and that segued into our existing robotics program, which starts in seventh grade. CoderZ checked all of these boxes, so we started using it three years ago. It effectively replaced the Hour of Code general coding/computer programming platform that we were previously using.…Read More

Covid’S Hit on Education and Literacy Levels Will Impact a Generation – Can Ebooks Help Us?

Scholastic US research indicates that of children who had read an eBook, 26% of boys and 16% of girls said they were reading more books as a result. National Literacy Trust research found that boys were significantly more likely to say that they read on screen (65.7%) than in print (55.4%) outside school.[1]

To help tackle falling literacy levels and utilise the reading skills and motivation benefited from eBooks, ‘Nimble Stories’, a new eBook start-up company is launching a crowdfunding effort on Thursday, 4 March 2021.

Nimble Stories is an easy eBook subscription service for Schools, Parents and Guardians, providing short stories and children’s books – perfect for learning, fun adventures and bedtime reads. Nimble Stories will be releasing new titles every week, meaning you can always find something new – across both fiction and non-fiction categories. With unlimited downloads, your subscription makes sure the fun never stops. There’s no limit or allowance to worry about – just complete access to the entire Nimble Stories’ library, as if it were your own. All eBooks are easy to read, available offline and can even be printed at home or in the classroom.…Read More

4 keys to building an equitable STEM program

This year in schools across the nation, approximately 136,000 students took advanced placement (AP) computer science, a 31 percent increase from last year. This group included a record number of female and minority students, but girls still only accounted for 28 percent of students taking AP computer science exams, while underrepresented minorities accounted for 21 percent. Meanwhile, the increase in STEM jobs shows no sign of slowing down, and only 33 percent of workers ages 25 and older have a degree in a STEM field.

What does this all mean? It means we can’t afford to leave anyone out. We need to find ways to immerse all students of all ages, races, genders, and types (not just the “talented and gifted” kids) in rich STEM learning. Educators need to do whatever they can to engage all students in a way that appeals to their interests across all STEM subjects. In working with hundreds of school districts across the country, here are four steps I’ve seen educators take to effectively build and nurture an equitable STEM program.

1. Provide STEM professional development (PD) to elementary teachers.
One of the challenges educators face is that there are limited opportunities for STEM-specific PD designed for elementary teachers. To promote STEM equity, schools first need to help more teachers figure out how to integrate STEM into their curriculum.…Read More

Is STEM getting ‘IT’ right for female students?

March 8th was memorable for many reasons. Not only was it International Women’s Day, but Meghan Markle made one of her first official public appearances with her future husband, Prince Harry, at an event in Birmingham, England. Significantly, the event was organized by the STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise working across the U.K. and Ireland to inspire young women to pursue STEM careers. The STEMettes were founded in 2013 by a math and science prodigy who had been motivated by the fact that only three of the 70 students in her math and computer science class in college were female. In its first five years, the organization has worked with nearly 40,000 girls, 95 percent of whom have expressed an increased interest in STEM.

Organizations all over the world, such as EngineerGirl in the U.S., are working hard to encourage more women to seek careers in STEM fields, and it is clear that these bodies and their events are having an impact. However, my feeling is that we can and must do more in our schools to increase the number of women represented in STEM careers, not just because of the drive for equality but because we are potentially missing out on a massive pool of talent. It is widely recognized that a career in STEM is more than technical knowledge; increasingly, it requires soft skills such as flexibility, creativity, and judgement. We need to look above and beyond people who rate highly in cognitive ability as it would typically be defined, and create an intentional plan to acquire talent from diverse sources.

One great example is that set by the Haysfield Girls’ School in the U.K. The school has won awards for its efforts in promoting STEM, including specialist days, a science fair, visits to science attractions and from female science role models, and encouraging STEM scholarship programs. The school’s STEM initiatives have been supported by corporations, including Dyson, and The James Dyson Foundation has developed brilliant resources and activities to teach STEM in fun and dynamic ways. Thirty percent of Dyson’s engineers are female, five times the percentage of the overall engineering workforce in the U.K. and almost three times the percentage in the US. When an effort is made to engage girls in STEM, great things will result.…Read More

Girls and STEM: A female engineer shares her path

Many people leave Disney World dreaming of becoming a princess, but when I experienced Disney for the first time as a three-year-old, I left the parks with a different dream: to become an engineer. I was enamored by the rides and became obsessed with learning how everything—from the roller coasters to the teacups—fit together and worked.

While I knew I wanted to be an engineer, I didn’t know which type of engineer I wanted to be. Fortunately, my parents handled my interest in engineering in the same way they handled other extracurricular activities: by finding every opportunity for me to learn about and experience engineering. Over the next decade, I learned about engineering by interviewing current engineers, going to summer camps, and absorbing information online.

When I was 13, I read a paragraph-long description about industrial engineering and knew what I wanted to do with my life. Today, I’m a senior industrial engineering student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made in my teens.…Read More