The gender gap is a frequently discussed problem in the STEM field, as typically there are fewer women pursuing STEM education than men. Because of this, there have been a variety of solutions proposed to further engage young girls in STEM, and in this post, we will look at three lessons you can apply to your classroom to do this.
For more information about getting female students interested in STEM, download and read this resource: Cultivating Female Interest in STEM.
Develop a Project About Women Role Models in STEM
By seeing other women in STEM careers, girls are more inclined to stay interested in STEM, rather than coming to the solution that many STEM occupations are only for boys. Try assigning a project where students research a STEM profession and find one man and one woman who are employed in the profession. Have them present to the class. This project will allow students to see that any gender can do any job, all while exposing girls to more professional women in STEM.
Create a Classroom Coding Competition
Girls may have interest in taking classes on computer-related fields, but may be hindered by a fear of being the only girl in the classroom. To help diminish this fear, try creating a coding competition among your students. This will require all students, both male and female, to get useful experience with coding while also potentially showing girls that they are not the only females with this area of interest.
Lecture to Debunk Stereotypes
Additionally, any time you give a lecture, aim to rid the talk of the stereotypes that surround STEM subjects. Use examples that could apply to boys or girls and work to incorporate the areas of interest that apply to the girls in your class. Doing this may help to keep them engaged in STEM and encourage the desire to pursue it in the future.
The most important thing for your classroom is that you ensure the fostering of engagement among all of your STEM students, keeping a conscious awareness of the current gender gap. With that in mind, each lesson will slowly work toward closing the gender gap in STEM.