First Lady Michelle Obama has directly addressed the need for girls and women in the United States to begin to consider the value of a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This is because the STEM fields are growing three times faster than other fields, and if more people do not participate in it, the United States will be at a huge disadvantage in technology in the future compared to other countries which encourage their young people to study STEM subjects. Moreover, the money to be earned in the STEM fields is at least 25 percent more than in other fields. Only a quarter of women now work in the STEM fields. Here are five ways science teachers in schools can create an interest among girls to consider STEM subjects.
Create interesting experiments and demonstrations in the classroom to interest girls in science topics. Open up a soda and ask girls why it bubbles? Explain how a chemical reaction happens due to carbon dioxide gas. When they see how these types of subjects apply to their everyday lives, girls will be willing to explore on their own. Another simple demonstration to try is the ketchup in a bottle experiment. Ask girls why some objects float while others sink. Place a ketchup packet in a bottle and show them how it changes position by adding pressure to the bottle. This is an opportunity to introduce the idea of buoyancy. Have them create their own experiments in the classroom and introduce an environment open to questions.
Introduce girls to car mechanics and teach them how to change oil and make simple repairs. Learning practical skills and auto repairs in Surrey, that are useful in daily life will help girls become more engaged in engineering and mechanics, which has always been seen as the domain for boys. Go on a field trip and have the girls ask questions of their own to Minit-Tune & Brake auto centre professionals. Have students then create their own cause and effect machines to see what they learned from the inner workings of the car.
Introduce girls to software games and computer sciences inside and outside the classroom. Then explore basic ideas on how they can design their own apps using simple coding methods. The trick is to make this fun and memorable. Look for a need and see if their apps can fill that need. To simplify their efforts at first, have them create board games. Making these types of designs can be a great prelude to coding and creating software.
Due to the gender gap in the United States and other forward thinking nations, there is a huge need to encourage girls and women to begin to think about STEM subjects. There is an economic need, as well as a gender equality need, for educators to promote STEM for women. A striking example occurred during Earth Day when 430 girls at the 9th annual Girls in Stem conference designed a plastic rescue device.
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