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Rallying Interest In STEAM Education Starts With A Message Of Inclusivity

The Huffington Post – Marcy Klevorn

“As the daughter of the man who co-invented the world’s first adjustable shock absorber, I grew up with engineering as an ever-present part of my daily life. Going to amusement parks meant inspecting the hydraulics before riding the coasters. Chores included assembling shock absorber catalogues. And when my dad’s German and Russian business partners came over for dinner, I was always invited to the table. Those gestures of inclusion gave me great confidence throughout my life. What’s more, I’ve come to learn that the messages we send and receive, consciously or not, are vitally important in shaping what we believe to be possible. Anything can be positive or negative depending on the way it’s communicated. When it comes to STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math), I fear that too often the messages and examples are not coming from diverse role models. As a result, we exclude a large percentage of kids from becoming interested in these subjects at a young age, when it’s most important.”(more)

Investing in girls could unlock billions of dollars for national economies : U.N. agency

Reuters – Zoe Tabary

“Around the world, 16 million girls between the ages of six and 11 never start school, many because they are married off or forced to work to help their families financially, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a report. It said developing countries could reap a dividend of $21 billion a year if all 10-year-old girls completed secondary education, echoing studies that show a correlation between improved literacy for girls and higher earnings later in life. “Education is the world’s best investment. Whenever a girl’s potential goes unrealized, we all lose,” Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.”(more)

Study Finds Both Girls and Boys are Exposed to Relational Bullying

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“In perfect timing for National Bullying Prevention Month, a group of researchers from Norway performed observations in over 20 schools to find that despite the narrative that relational bullying is a “mean girl” phenomenon, boys are just as likely to be exposed. For those unfamiliar, relational bullying is a non-overt form of bullying that happens over time and frequently goes unnoticed by parents and teachers, making intervention difficult.”(more)

One reason why girls outperform boys in school may be sleep cycles

The Seattle Times – Paige Cornwell

“The decision by several area school districts, including Seattle, to delay start times for high-school classes has been touted as a positive move that better matches teens’ biological clocks and helps them learn better. Now a new study suggests that later start times may have a particular benefit for boys. Researchers from the University of California, Davis looked at scores from a six-year experiment involving middle and high schools in Eastern Europe where students’ classes alternated every month between starting at 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The boys’ test performance increased more in afternoon classes. Their scores, on average, didn’t reach or surpass the girls’ scores, but that the gap between the scores shrunk by 16 percent.”(more)

This Popular Math Class Is At The Heart Of The STEM Gender Gap, Study Suggests

The Huffington Post – Dominique Mosbergen

“The gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is widely reported. Only one-quarter of college graduates entering careers in STEM in the U.S. are women. The numbers are even more dismal in fields like physics and engineering. Only about 1 in 10 physicists and astronomers are women. About 8 percent of mechanical engineers are female. But here’s the rub: Girls are just as interested and are definitely not less skilled in STEM subjects than boys. In fourth grade, both genders report similar rates of interest in science. From K-12, female and male students generally perform equally well on standardized math and science tests. High school boys and girls also enroll in advanced science courses at comparable rates.”(more)

Encouraging Women’s Confidence in Math Skills Could Increase the Percentage of Women in the STEM Workforce

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Getting more women to be interested and therefore represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a national priority; a new study has provided some insight into where efforts could be best focused. According to a recently published study from researchers Jessica Ellis, Bailey K. Fosdick and Chris Rasmussen, women are 1.5 times more likely to leave the STEM pipeline after calculus than men and a lack of confidence in their abilities to tackle advanced math could be to blame. Because Calculus is a challenging but necessary part of advancing into many STEM fields, it has been proven to dissuade many people from continuing their pursuits. While more women are likely to be dissuaded by Calculus than men, research supports that a lack of confidence is mostly to blame as opposed to a lack of ability.”(more)