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How One Museum Is Inspiring Young Girls to Pursue STEM

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“It’s been a U.S. focus over the past decade and increasingly so in the past few years to encourage young people’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There’s just one problem. Despite the coordinated efforts, women and minorities are consistently left behind. STEM-related employment and education activity continues to increase year over year, but degrees and jobs are primarily dominated by white and Asian males…advocates have been narrowing their focus to narrow the gender gap. Their goal? Figure out how to make STEM fields more attractive to women by chipping away at layers of cultural norms that do the opposite. Such an example is the Women in Science Initiative run by the Connecticut Science Center.”(more)

Universities ‘should set targets’ on recruiting male students

Times Higher Education – John Morgan

“Only two English universities have targets to increase recruitment of male students, according to a Higher Education Policy Institute report on the sector’s gender gap “problem”. The report, published on 12 May, cites Ucas UK figures showing that at the mid-January 2016 application deadline, 343,930 women and 249,790 men had applied to enter higher education – a difference of 94,140 that was “the highest on record”…The report, titled Boys to Men: the Underachievement of Young Men in Higher Education – and How to Start Tackling It…observes that “other developed countries have undergone a similar shift” in balance towards female undergraduates. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Education at a Glance 2015 report, which looked at 28 developed and developing nations including the UK, found that “women make up the majority of entrants into tertiary education in all countries except Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Turkey”…The report’s recommendations include a “Take Our Sons to University Day”, more access spending on the recruitment of disadvantaged male students and “more institutions [to] consider setting themselves targets for male recruitment in future”.”(more)

Where Women Thrive in STEM

U.S. News & World Report – Kim Cassidy

“For too many students, college is a time to give up on dreams of pursuing a science, technology, engineering or math career – and this is especially true for women and minorities. From 2009 to 2013, approximately 22 percent of women entered college intending to major in STEM fields, but only 9 percent of women nationally actually earned a STEM degree. But the STEM pipeline for women does not need to leak at the undergraduate level…The inherent structural advantages of a women’s college enable numerous women to persist and succeed in STEM fields. By attending to and replicating – as far as possible – these supportive structures, all institutions can build a more inclusive future.”(more)

Balloon ‘spacecraft,’ prosthetic limb and subway vacuum wow White House Science Fair

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit

“Obama hosted his final White House Science Fair on Wednesday, hobnobbing with young brainiacs and speaking of how their fearlessness and courage in attacking problems as diverse as subway trash and Ebola buoyed his optimism for the future…The science fair is one of the more visible parts of the administration’s broader effort to elevate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the nation’s schools…Jo Handelsman, associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the administration has worked to increase the recruitment of women and minorities into STEM fields, where they have been historically underrepresented…Handelsman said that if the nation fails to develop experts from traditionally underrepresented groups, there will be a critical shortage of STEM-trained workers.”(more)

Better Education Will Mean Better Health for Young Women and Girls

The Huffington Post – Julia Gillard

“If we invest in girls’ schooling, health benefits will follow. A better-educated girl is less likely to get HIV and more likely to be able to make her own choices about when she marries and how many children she’ll have. And it not only makes a difference for her, it makes a difference for generations to come…We must continue to place a high premium on access to and the quality of education; because this is the best tool we have for keeping our girls healthy…Given the virtuous cycle between a young woman’s health and access to quality education, we must ask ourselves – what can we do to make a difference?”(more)

How female science, math teachers influence whether young women major in STEM fields

Journalist’s Resource – Kelly Peaton

“Jobs in STEM fields often are high paying and in high demand, which is why government leaders have been pressing colleges and universities to produce more STEM graduates…the reality is that far fewer women and minorities enter careers in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics…A January 2016 study published in Social Problems considers how teacher demographics could influence that effort…The authors state that female math and science teachers may help encourage interest among girls by pushing them to take risks and go against stereotypes and by raising their confidence in their abilities. They note the importance of focusing on students’ high school years to help boost the number of women entering STEM-related fields.”(more)