Yes, She Can STEM—and More
It’s a statistic that’s quoted again and again. Women make up approximately half of the college-educated workforce in the U.S. but only 25 percent of college-educated workers in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Why? According to studies, many girls begin losing interest in STEM subjects as early as middle school, and this path continues through high school and college—and ultimately affects their chosen career.
#SheCanSTEM is a new public service media campaign that hopes to encourage middle school girls to ultimately pursue STEM careers by challenging stereotypes and showcasing female STEM role models. The campaign is backed by high-profile tech brands such as GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Verizon and is produced by the Ad Council. STEM careers may not be for everyone, but the program highlights female STEM role models—from astronomers to engineers to research scientists—to help keep girls interested.
Here are four STEM resources and inspiration:
- Find the @SheCanSTEM campaign on Instagram or visit the She Can STEM website. The site is also a portal to STEM-based events and online learning.
- Tealsk12.org: TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) helps high schools throughout the U.S. build and grow sustainable computer science programs. TEALS works with a variety of schools (rural, urban, and suburban; high performing and high need; public, charter, religious, and independent). Teleconferencing software connects volunteers to underserved schools. If you’d like to volunteer, check this out!
- IGNITE supports mentoring students from kindergarten through collegiate levels, as well as those who recently have started their careers in STEM. Learners are often from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM. IGNITE programs include panel discussions, field trips, workshops, and job shadowing.
- GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE: WOMEN IN STEM: spend a few minutes and explore the history of women in STEM. Did you know Maria Mitchell, America’s first professional female astronomer, discovered a comet on October 1, 1847 at the age of 29? She was the first American to do so.
Finally, here are some words of wisdom from Girls Inc. and “10 Things You Can Do To Encourage a Girl in STEM”:
“Introduce her to a variety of role models – especially women – so that she does not limit her dreams” and “Teach her to replace ‘I can’t’ with ‘I’ll try’ or ‘I don’t know how – who can help me learn?’”