STEM Programs for Girls
When looking at the scope of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the belief is that men dominate these fields. However, women are ever present and thriving in STEM careers! And as a female-founded company, we want to inspire young girls to embrace their insatiable curiosity for the sciences and strive to advance our world.
As girls ready themselves for school, their backpacks are filled with supplies- pencils, graph paper, calculators, contractors, and otherwise. While these tangible items are geared for productive and successful STEM learning, we need to supply motivating tools and programs that hone in on her passion.
Here are a few ideas that can help boost a girl’s budding interest in STEM programs.
Find Female Role Models
Giving girls positive female role models to look up to and seek inspiration from is key, starting at the elementary school level with teachers and school leaders. In order to foster interest, give her examples of women who have and are currently succeeding in a STEM career. There is no lack of women in STEM fields– the current CEO at Lockheed is a woman (who last year partnered with Japan Association of Rocketry for a nationwide Girls Rocketry Challenge!), the movie Hidden Figures illuminates three groundbreaking female NASA scientists, and of course, we are a female-led company. Point to STEM women as success stories and utilize them to encourage a girl’s interest!
Boosting confidence will further instill passion in interested female innovators. Because the society standard points to a male-dominated industry, a lack of confidence may simply become engrained by observation. Invigorate and enlighten girls whom express STEM interest with “you can do it” reassurance and praise, because in fact (and in research), they can.
Foster Growth Early On
Currently there is a big push in education toward “growth mindset,” meaning your brain grows with challenge, which helps alleviate the fear of failure and teaches how to persevere. When a girl gravitates towards STEM, a pinch of fear might eventually discourage her from continuing the pursuit, despite her inner passion. Design opportunities for success and provide safe environments in which for her to fail. Rather than giving up, she will believe that she can move forward by trying different ways
Seek STEM Programs
Enroll her into a STEM program designed for girls. There are plenty geared toward nurturing an empowering environment and learning space to build confidence and inspiration. The National Girls Collaborative Project (https://ngcproject.org) is a great resource and provides a directory of programs in which to cooperate.
Cultivating confidence and leveraging the inherent strength of females- their compassion and dedication- and applying these qualities to their STEM pursuit will encourage girls to thrive!