My Quest To Teach

March 19, 2013

STEM AND STEAM for Girls

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 2:37 pm

Engineering Class

Engineering Class

STEM AND STEAM for Girls

As a STEAM teacher in public school,
I’m always pleasantly surprised by
the creative expression and analytical
skills of the girls in the classroom.
During the project creation portion of
my lessons girls seem to explode with
creativity. On the down side girls
exhibit self doubt and low self confidence
when involved in science and math
related skills.

This self doubt and low self confidence should be
addressed by parents and teachers to build up girls,
to show them they can be successful in science and
math. Teachers must strive to build girls confidence
and positive self expression. In a perfect world parents
would already be accomplishing this, but in the real
world it is not happening in too many homes.

Incorporating arts and mathematics in my engineering
lessons brings out interesting reactions in students,
if designed right the students will perform math equations
and art work before they realize what they are
accomplishing the tasks. This incorporation using
cross curriculum learning provides a re-routing of
learning and thinking when it comes to these subjects.
When taken in this direction there is not the opportunity
for students to self doubt and have apprehension. The
accomplishment of the task at hand is the focus.

From mentoring aspiring teen business owners in Social
Media and presenting Branding and Marketing Using
Social Media platforms for high school and college
students. Working with young women requires different
skills than with young men. Even when working with
women the mentality is different, women seem to be
hesitant to their dynamic abilities and reluctant to using
their creativity and innovation.

Men are attackers and risk takers, women are more cautious
and conservative. Both have high expectations for success,
but the process to achieve their goals is different. Just from
observation in my engineering class these attributes are
displayed from Kindergarten to Fifth grade.

Teaching is a uniform (standard) process so there cannot be
many deviations from how a classroom teacher presents
information in the instructional environment. In the area of
STEM and STEAM there is more freedom to present information
in a way that boys and girls can understand and incorporate critical
thinking and higher order thinking skills. In some ways girls are
more analytical than boys so the planning and implementation is
easier for girls. Boys just jump into it and are aggressive and
fearless, sometimes thoughtless.

In order for more girls to enter into the fields of STEM or
STEAM girls must be encouraged and supported. Girls need
mentors, role models and direct opportunities like boys to learn
about careers. In a more nurturing manner girls should be taught
to delete the self esteem issues and stomp out self doubt.
Teaching Engineering and Technology I see how girls’ ideas grow,
their self confidence climbs, their ability to work with each other’s
transitions from the chatty dialogue of toys, clothes, makeup to
the sophistication of designing buildings, bridges, airplanes,
and rockets.

Embracing the scientific process and learning the skill sets of
observation and building on current knowledge as new knowledge
is added.
A new dialogue needs to be created around girls in STEM and
STEAM education. The more girls that enter into these dynamic
fields the brighter future for science and engineering in America.
The White House Council on Women and Girls states women
make up only 25 percent of the STEM workforce in America.
More need to be involved in STEM and STEAM careers and this
requires schools to encourage and more importantly provide
educational curriculums in these areas.

Opportunities are expected to grow within five years for careers,
but these areas will be vacant if girls do not have an established
foundation in elementary schools. Science instruction, technology
exposure, engineering design, arts appreciation and mathematics
application mastery are key for girls/women to be leaders in
STEAM fields.
Minority women have great growth potential because of new
scholarships, grants and educational incentives. Exposure and
engagement needs to start not in high school, but in elementary
levels #Blerdology a resource for Girls of Color http://blerdology.co/.
The significant gender gap when it comes to females in
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
careers shows that males are directed in these fields and encouraged
leaving women to seek careers in lower paying careers and not
as technical nor scientific. “A girls education is just as valuable
as a boys education” William Jackson, M.Ed. 03/13

The students in my Engineering class, girls are just as
motivated and talented as the boys, my role is to
encourage all students and during instruction suggest to
girls that STEAM and STEM are careers they can
excel in and make a great salary. The National Assessment
of Educational Progress, known as “The Nation’s Report
Card,” girls lagged a full five percentage points behind
boys in eighth grade science. The Institute of Education
Sciences’ determined that when it comes to encouraging
girls in engineering, math and science, having teachers
connect science and math to careers in ways that didn’t
reinforce gender stereotypes.

The idea of stereotypes hinders a teacher in their instruction,
their ability to teach fairly and equally are compromised.
Parents should check their conversations to keep from
down playing girls abilities to building them up with boys.
Girls confidence levels and self esteems need to be nurtured
and strengthened. If the proper instruction is provided and
the proper support in school and at home math and science
are more likely to be chosen electives, math and science
courses in high school and girls will more likely to select
math and science-related college majors and careers.

For more information about Girls in STEM or STEAM

Andrew Robinson Elementary STEAM Night
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/steam-family-night-at-are/

Girls In Stem
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/girls-in-stem

The Journal
http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/09/08/engaging-girls-in-stem.aspx

The Whitehouse
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/educate-innovate

Engineering in STEAM for Girls

Engineering in STEAM for Girls

2012-09-13 13.17.53

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