For years, girls have been told that the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology are not their areas of expertise. They cannot excel in these areas because they are too ‘complex’ for a female mind. It’s time to change the narrative and encourage more girls into STEM courses. Here is how:
- Encourage Participation in STEM Courses
To encourage girls to enroll in a STEM course, schools should promote the benefits of attending and actively encourage girls to participate. In addition, schools should provide information regarding STEM courses and their benefits, such as career opportunities after graduation or the ability to pursue advanced studies in science and technology.
Girls need more knowledge about science that is not provided by textbooks or other teachers but rather through their experiments. By encouraging girls to do science experiments, they can see the importance of science and how it can be applied in their lives. Encourage girls to become scientists.
Girls need to hear from other girls that it is okay to become a scientist. They need to see that becoming a scientist is possible and rewarding, and beneficial for their futures.
- Making STEM Courses Look Cool
Making science cool will encourage girls to become scientists and encourage them not to shy away from the sciences just because it is a boy’s field of study. For example, suppose school curriculums include physics, chemistry, biology, geology, robotics and computer programming. In that case, girls will feel more comfortable participating in these subjects when they are interested in them or introduced to the topic early by parents or teachers.
- Support STEM Learning Opportunities
By supporting the STEM learning opportunities in our schools, girls will feel more comfortable and confident in their abilities to succeed in science. Girls need to see that mathematics, computer programming, and science are extremely valuable.
It would be best if programs offered a fully-funded scholarship for girls interested in STEM and pursuing these subjects in college. For instance, supporting ideas for math project competitions and math fairs in schools might encourage girls to participate in these events. Students can also look up ideas on Adobe Education Exchange.
- Encourage Girls to Attend STEM Camps and Summer Camps
School camps and summer camps are great ways for girls to learn about STEM subjects and explore them in a more hands-on manner. For example, if sponsors can finance girls who want to attend these camps, they will be more likely to participate in these activities. In addition, having an all-girls STEM camp will help encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Lack of funding for women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is one of the reasons few girls are interested in pursuing STEM courses. Government and private companies should take a more active role in funding women seeking careers in these fields.
Although there has been some progress towards increasing the number of women entering STEM fields since 2001, when only 4% of students enrolled at MIT were female, there is still so much more that can be done to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.