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Think big, start early: New effort to close gender gap in science starts in preschool

CBS News – Shanika Gunaratna

“Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to numbers released last year from the National Science Foundation. Other data shows they lag behind men in securing higher paying jobs at a number of major Silicon Valley companies.”(more)

How Computer Science Changed My Career for the Better

Fortune – Sandy Shirai

“As any business leader can attest, the world has become increasingly complex. To navigate in that world, they need all of the help they can get—and one powerful tool is a grounding in STEM. Technology and science are not only central to today’s business landscape, but they’re often the keys to progress. I come from a computer science background and have found my training to be invaluable in my role as leader of Deloitte’s U.S. Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry practice. A STEM education has not only armed me with an approach to problem solving, but has helped me stand out as a female executive.”(more)

At Age 6, Girls Are Less Likely to Identify Females As ‘Really, Really Smart’

KQED News Mind/Shift Katherine Hobson

“Girls in the first few years of elementary school are less likely than boys to say that their own gender is “really, really smart,” and less likely to opt into a game described as being for super-smart kids, research finds. The study, which appears Thursday in Science, comes amid a push to figure out why women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. One line of research involves stereotypes, and how they might influence academic and career choices. Andrei Cimpian, a professor of psychology at New York University and an author of the study, says his lab’s previous work showed that women were particularly underrepresented in both STEM and humanities fields whose members thought you needed to be brilliant — that is, to have innate talent — to succeed.”(more)

Exploring Gaps in STEM Education

I Crunch Data- Anne G. Barretta

“Art may be the key entry point to STEM, especially for girls, according to a new survey released today on the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)-based activities for children. Two Bit Circus, an engineering entertainment company, surveyed a recent audience of more than 500 parents to understand gender differentiators in how children play and learn in relation to STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities.”(more)

Traumatic stress changes brains of boys, girls differently

Science Daily – Staff Writer

” Traumatic stress affects the brains of adolescent boys and girls differently, according to a new brain-scanning study. Among youth with post-traumatic stress disorder, the study found structural differences between the sexes in one part of the insula, a brain region that detects cues from the body and processes emotions and empathy. The insula helps to integrate one’s feelings, actions and several other brain functions.”(more)

Gender gaps in math persist, with teachers underrating girls’ math skills

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Beginning in early elementary school, boys outperform girls in math — especially among the highest achievers — continuing a troubling pattern found in the late 1990s, finds a new analysis led by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The study, published in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, also shows that teachers give lower ratings to girls’ math skills when girls and boys have similar achievement and behavior. In addition, using two national datasets gathered more than a decade apart, this study finds that teachers’ lower ratings of girls are likely contributing to the growth in the gender gap in math.”(more)