Breaking Barriers to Girls’ Engagement in STEM

Don’t let anyone tell you that girls can’t study math, science, and technology. Girls can solve math problems, create apps, and invent new technology just as well as anyone else. If more girls study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and choose career-prep programs for STEM fields, there will be more young women studying STEM majors in universities. That will trickle into STEM careers, increasing the number of women in these fields, normalizing and celebrating the role of women in STEM industries.

Encouraging Girls to Engage in STEM

Teachers should support every student who show an interest in math or science. A girl who takes apart toys to see how they work or spends extra time in the science lab at school isn’t weird or less of a girl. Girls who like technology should be encouraged. Little girls are used to seeing men as scientists on TV shows and cartoons. This is true in every country. Even the United Nations is trying to include more women in STEM jobs. UNESCO and UNICEF are studying the reasons that girls stay away from science and math careers. With the right attitude, girls can overcome the little voice in their heads that tells them some fields are “just for boys”.

STEM Organizations for Women and Girls

STEM organizations for women and girls are valuable resources; empowering women to get involved with STEM in their hobbies, studies, and careers, and educating them to better understand all of their options. College students and career women talk to each other about how to succeed in STEM fields and make important friendships. One girl’s success can inspire everyone. Girls can also meet women who work in their future STEM fields and know that the rumors about boys being better than girls at math and engineering are untrue.

STEM Scholarships

No student should forgo their STEM studies and higher education girl because she or her family doesn’t have enough money. STEM scholarships give girls the money they need to continue STEM studies in university and beyond. Foundations offering scholarships to students are also great incentives to get students into STEM fields. To apply for a STEM scholarship, girls may have to write a paper or do a project related to the field they wish to study. They may also have to get good grades and have positive recommendations from a STEM teacher or mentor. There may be more scholarship opportunities for girls who are involved in STEM organizations; many feature members-only scholarship opportunities.

STEM Events

There are lots of STEM events girls can attend. Museums and universities hold “open days” to teach girls about how STEM can be used in cool, new ways. There are also STEM summer camps and programs that girls from all over the world can attend. They’re a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and share knowledge and experiences. It’s also a chance to take classes and do hands-on experiments away from school. Most importantly, STEM programs are fun! Girls learn to be curious, take risks, and explore the world with other girls who are just like them. They can make life-long friendships and take the first steps into the STEM career of their choice. Girls who don’t think they’re good enough to succeed in math and science will find new confidence.