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Next steps for building an inclusive STEM workforce

SmartBlog on Education – Mina Dixon

“What will it take to ignite a student’s interest in a science, technology, engineering or math field? And how can stakeholders encourage women – who make up close to 50% of the US workforce, but comprise less than 25% of the STEM labor pool, data suggest –to pursue these 21st-century jobs? Strategies to build a representative workforce include early access to STEM education, role models and real-world relevance, according to Kathy Hurley, CEO and co-founder of Girls Thinking Global…Good programs that are working to bridge the STEM gender gap often share common characteristics, Hurley suggested. They avoid jargon and highlight how STEM concepts are used to address global issues.”(more)

How to Course Correct STEM Education to Include Girls

EdTech – Sylvia Libow Martinez

“In a perfect world, all people would have equal opportunity to achieve their professional goals. But the reality is not perfect for women in the workforce. In many science, technology, engineering and math fields, especially in engineering and programming, women are under­represented…Many schools have found success in helping more girls through STEM courses. We know what works: role models, mentors, encouragement and special opportunities. But schools can do more to make STEM courses more accessible for all students. Introduce real-world topics, real research, real projects, real tools and tangible technology to STEM subjects. That attracts not only girls but any students who are uninterested in dry textbook science…While changing deeply embedded culture and established curriculum may seem like an impossible challenge, it’s something that simply has to be done.”(more)

Who says girls aren’t good at STEM?

She Knows – Mayim Bialik

“You don’t need to be a mathematician to know there is gender disparity when it comes to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in this country…How do we reverse this trend?…when I was about 15 years old and filming Blossom, I had a tutor who was the first female role model in science I ever had. She showed me that someone could be as passionate about biology as I thought you could only be about art or poetry….But girls like me shouldn’t have to wait until high school to meet a female role model in the sciences! We should be exposing female students to strong female STEM role models as early as possible — in elementary school.”(more)