The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment is a test aimed to gauge eighth grade students on problem solving, goal achievement, and technological understanding.
In 2018, approximately 15,400 eighth graders from 600 public and private schools took the TEL assessment, which revealed that, excitingly, eighth grade scores increased at least 2 points on average in all practice areas.
What's more, girls, on average, scored higher than boys across all areas, despite reportedly being enrolled in less engineering and technology classes across the board.
The gender gap in STEM is striking, and female enrollment in STEM-related classes are particularly low. Only 5% of female students are in mathematics and engineering course combined, and as few as 3% in natural sciences.
According to UNESCO, worldwide, 35% of higher education students enrolled in STEM are women. However, what the TEL assessment seems to reveal is that this is not a reflection of aptitude.
Take the opportunity to encourage the young girls in your life to pursue their passions and remind them that they can do it all!