Empowering Girls in STEM
Last updated: March 17, 2021, at 11:09 a.m. PT
Originally published: March 17, 2021, at 11:09 a.m. PT
“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Sally Ride, First American Female to go to Space
Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 28% of the science and engineering workforce. There are several reasons that contribute to this discrepancy including a lack of pre-college experience, stereotypes (social bias and sexism) that dissuade female participation in STEM-related activities, lack of role models, according to a University Washington study. The overall most powerful impact, the researchers conclude, is a “masculine culture” that makes many women feel like they don’t belong.
At the Y, we want to promote and encourage the presence of females in this ever-growing field. A few ways you can connect with the Y or bring STEM to your own home:
- At LEAP Academy our SCALED Learning™ curriculum intentionally incorporates STEM-based activities into our programming up to four times per week with activities aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Learn more about LEAP Academy here.
- Start them young! Children from 3-5 years old are invited to join our FREE Virtual STEM Explorers which is offered twice per week and includes fun experiments that are developmentally appropriate and can be done from the comfort of your home.
- Middle school-age youth will also enjoy our Virtual Coding class offered free through a collaboration with University Washington Bothell. Registration for the next session of classes starts soon.
- Check out some great books that feature women in STEM, written by women. Here is a list of our favorites:
- Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
- Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang
- The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
- Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins
- Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
- Radioactive! How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling
- Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
- Do some cool STEM experiments at home! Here are a few we enjoy:
More information and resources:
- Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solution
- 5 Ways to Get Girls into STEM
- Why are there so few women in STEM?
- Why do some STEM fields have fewer women than others?
- 8 Ways to Get More Girls Involved in STEM That Really Work