The ups and downs of girls in STEM

Are girls really underrepresented in STEM?

Yes. 

In the US, the workforce is pretty evenly split between men and women, but in STEM fields men make up 73 percent of the workforce to women’s 27 percent. Why?

It’s easy to want to find a well-meaning solution for this disparity, or even to brush it off as unimportant. But achieving a gender parity in STEM fields (particularly computer science, engineering, and programmers, among others) isn’t just a feel-good social justice crusade. The number of open tech jobs far outpaces the population of traditionally qualified candidates—data projections have pointed to a global shortage of 85 million tech workers by 2030.

It’s not a matter of encouraging girls to pursue STEM programs just for the heck of it, to prove they can and earn a good paycheck—it’s a matter of graduating enough highly-skilled workers to meet economic demand.

Still, the imbalanced statistics for the genders in STEM are damning. What can K-12 schools do to play their part in preparing the next generation for a talent-hungry workforce?

Let students lead…Read More

When I grow up: Nurturing girls to become leaders

Growing up, I was the class vice-president; the de facto leader of every group project ever assigned; elementary and high school valedictorian; and the captain of my sports teams. I met all the stereotypes of a typical, Type A student. Yet, it never crossed my mind that when I grew up, I could be a CEO.

I’m not alone. 

According to Harvard Business Review 5.3 percent of large U.S. companies have CEOs named John compared with 4.1 percent that have CEOs who are women. Firms with CEOs named David, at 4.5 percent, also outnumber women-led businesses. More than half of college graduates are women, yet, less than 8 percent of the fortune 500 CEOs are women. The stats speak for themselves. …Read More

Powerful strategies to motivate girls in STEM

The history of STEM is filled with amazing women who revolutionized our understanding of science. Take Grace Hopper, one of the first computer programmers who went on to become a rear admiral in the United States Navy. Chien-Shiung Wu was a renowned physicist who helped crack the secrets of nuclear physics. Alice Ball saved countless lives by developing a treatment for leprosy, while Ynés Mexía gave us a better understanding of the many plants which make up our environment. The list goes on, and only grows more extraordinary!

Unfortunately, women only make up 28 percent of the STEM workforce. This is because many young girls have struggled to engage with STEM while in school. The reasons for this are numerous, from forced stereotypes to a lack of role models.

As a result, many young women are missing their chance to pursue STEM in higher education, and the world is poorer for it. So, how can educators take steps to correct this imbalance?…Read More

Royelles Launches Industry’s First Inclusive Mobile Gaming Metaverse Dedicated To Educating And Empowering Young Girls

WASHINGON D.C., June 14, 2022Royelles, a global educational gaming (Ed Gaming) platform empowering girls and non-binary individuals through inclusive play, today announced it’s official launch. Royelles is on a mission to disrupt the $180B+ mobile gaming industry through transformational storytelling and inclusive role modeling, in an effort to dismantle the global identity crisis disproportionately impacting girls. 

A female-founded platform for girls, Royelles aims to bridge the gap between girls’ potential and their dreams, and ignite their curiosity and confidence towards solving the world’s biggest problems in STEAM. Royelles’ gamified mobile play platform meets the demands of 21st century 6-12 years olds, and their adult influencers. Powered by AR, AI, and voice technologies, the newly launched, learning-based mobile app is anchored in fierce female avatar personas and real-life super(s)heros with inspiring professions across science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

“We believe that everyone deserves to be bold, fearless, and undaunted architects of their destinies,” said Múkami Kinoti Kimotho CEO & Founder of Royelles. “Our mission is rooted in opening the window of possibilities to every girl, so that they know that they are fully equipped to realize their greatest potential. And, that their difference is their superpower.” …Read More

Why girls need more STEM role models

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

My Advanced Placement computer science course is half girls and half boys. I coach an award-winning robotics team, Retro5ive, that is equally balanced between girls and boys, nearly all of whom are students of color.

Getting there requires combating gender norms and stereotypes every day. This fall, while conducting a two-week Tools and Build module with the robotics team, I held up a pop rivet gun and asked students what it was. Here’s a recap of an exchange between me, a boy who was learning about the team, and a few girls on the team.…Read More

“Biodegradable sanitary pad made out of dragon fruit peels designed by a team of Vientamese girls wins USD 100,000 in The Earth Prize 2022 competition!”

On Friday, March 25th, The Earth Foundation held a fully virtual event, The Earth Prize 2022 Awards Ceremony, to announce the winner and runners-up of the USD 200,000 environmental sustainability competition for teenagers. Team Adorbsies, made up of three young women – Quynh Anh (Dorothy), Uyen and Huyen, from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam – was proclaimed as the victorious recipient of the USD 100,000 grand prize that comes with The Earth Prize 2022 Winner title. The prize money will be split evenly between the team members and the educational program with which they registered for the competition, Summit Education.

The winning idea is the “Adorbsy” biodegradable menstrual pad. As the students explained in their submission, due to a drop in dragon fruit sales caused by the Covid pandemic, Vietnam was suddenly forced to deal with considerable amounts of unsold fruit, with an initial plan of simply burning it. The students had already been thinking of a project linked to making more eco-friendly menstrual pads – as they were virtually non-existent in the Vietnamese market – when Uyen learned about the absorbent properties of dragon fruit. This planted the seed for their Earth Prize project submission.

“This was a very difficult choice for The Earth Prize Adjudicating Panel to make; but Team Adorbsies’ project is an idea turned into a solution that can make a genuine difference”, said Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, Chair of the Panel.…Read More

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