As a multiracial female scientist who grew up in rural Lynden, Whatcom County, Barber DeGraaff is committed to smashing the public’s stereotypical idea of who a scientist is. “In the sciences, we’re taught to be objective and above our biases, but we’re not,” she says. “To get more women into tech, the students need programs encouraging girls to get involved early, but another layer needs to be faculty awareness and fellow student awareness on discrimination and bias – both gender and race.”
Robots and artificial intelligence are already taking over jobs from people, so many schools are teaching cybersecurity, programming and robotics to provide students with employable 21st century skills.
As the modern world becomes increasingly digital, it will be paramount to create a new generation of innovators in the STEM field. The first step toward creating a more innovative collection of workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics begins in the classroom. Teachers must be properly trained to facilitate STEM lessons to their students and pique their interest from an early age.
As of 2017, Girls Who Code had served more than 80,000 girls and now offers more than 5,000 programs. Its summer immersion program, a free seven-week classroom experience located on university campuses or at big tech companies nationwide, and its club program, which meets two hours after school in cities across the country, are just two examples of those programs.
Many factors contribute to this disinterest in STEM. Lingering perceptions that science pertains to only certain groups of people and that science is not cool discourage students from showing interest. Students have limited exposure to STEM professionals to serve as role models, particularly in the early school years when they are forming ideas about what they want to become. Schools often struggle with science faculty and materials shortages, lackluster lessons, and a shortage of time to dedicate to the investigative and iterative processes that define science and engineering.
Designing Meaningful STEM Lessons provides 13 ready-to-use lessons in physical science, life science, and Earth and space science. To fulfill the authors’ promise to be both relevant and exciting, the lessons have titles such as “Cell-fie” and “Aircraft Catapult.” But the lessons are more than just cool projects. All correlate with A Framework for K–12 Science Education, take a constructivist approach, and operate within the 5E instructional model.
The driving principle behind the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative is that every young person should have access to a rich ecosystem of connected learning opportunities--in and out-of-school--in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These Ecosystems are cultivated through cross-sector partnerships, which may include preK-16 schools, after-school and summer programs, science centers, museums, corporations, non-profit organizations and more.
Despite its dismal reputation for gender equality, Saudi Arabia has a surprising level of female graduates in the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Ranked among the bottom 20 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index in 2015, women nonetheless made up 39 percent of graduates in a cluster of “core” STEM subjects.
The bipartisan legislation would create a teacher residency grant program to help address the CTE teacher shortage in schools and help fill in-demand skilled jobs. It would target mid-career professionals in related technical fields, recent college graduates, veterans or currently licensed teachers who want to transition to a CTE focus.
Getting girls curious about science is essential to the future of the agriculture sector. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women filled 47 percent of all U.S. jobs in 2015 but held only 24 percent of STEM jobs. At the same time, there is a shortfall of graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, natural resources, and the environment, according to a recent Purdue University study.