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STEM For Northern Colorado Girls

Our Mission

We provide information, resources, and activity ideas to School Librarians for girls in grades 3 through 8. We are geared toward helping librarians develop programs that foster confidence and excitement for girls in STEM related education and activities. By educating teachers and parents about the special challenges girls face further up in the educational system, we can prepare our students and daughters to meet those challenges in a 21st century STEM-World.

Girls are being Left Behind

  • Girls are less likely to agree that they are “good in at science”1
  • 32.7%; Coloradoans hold BA/BS or higher degree, 36%; of 8thgraders scored proficient or above on the science portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Exam 2
  • The number of Bachelor's degrees in Science (not including the Biological Sciences) and Engineering earned by women is around 18%. 3
  • Research shows that attitudes are set by 3rd - 4th grade 4
  • Most programs geared toward encouraging girls to consider STEM careers are created for middle to high school-aged girls.
  • STEM fields will grow 17.5% from 2008-2018 5
  • STEM workers earn 26% more than non-STEM workers 6
  • The positions will be there, but unless attitudes change, our girls will be left behind!

Proven Strategies for Engaging Girls in STEM 7

  1. Collaborate! Note that girls will benefit the most when they can participate and communicate FAIRLY.
  2. Provide activities and projects that have meaning and relevance to girls.
  3. Develop activities and projects that are open-ended.
  4. Let the girls approach projects they way they want, using their creativity, unique abilities, and favorite learning styles.
  5. Be Positive! Giving positive feedback to effort, strategies, and behaviors increases confidence and performance.
  6. Encourage girls to think critically. Girls will boost their confidence levels and trust in their own reasoning when they learn to think critically.
  7. Be a Role Model & find Role Models to talk to your girls. Let them know that the possibilities are endless.

From: SciGirls Seven

[Top of Page]

Read the Harris Interactive report: STEM Perceptions: Student & Parent Study
Parents and Students Weigh in on How to Inspire the Next Generation of Doctors, Scientists, Software Developers, and Engineers
Commissioned by Microsoft Corp.

Footnotes:

  1. National Science Foundation, 2003.^
  2. US Census Bureau, Quick Facts, June 3, 2011; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009. ^
  3. National Science Foundation, Division Resource Statistics, 2009.“Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering:2009” (NSF 09-305, Tables C-4 &C-5). Retrieved from: The SciGirls Seven: Proven Strategies for Engaging Girls in STEM.^
  4. Ambady, Shih, Kim, & Pittinsky, “Stereotype Susceptibility in Children:Effects of Identity Activation on Quantitative Performance”, Psychological Science (2001), Vol.12, No.5. pp.385-390.^
  5. Fortune Magazine, July 15, 2011. ^
  6. Fortune Magazine, July 15, 2011. ^
  7. Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Parents, SciGirls:Learning Goals.(2010) Accessed May, 2012.^