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  • Hot Topic: Engaging Girls in STEM

    Girl doing researchThe number of girls engaging in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is growing, but based on statistics gathered by the National Girls Collaborative Project, they are not choosing STEM careers at a consistent rate. The gap may lie in whether they engage in science at an early age and whether they continue their engagement and interest as they move through the formal school system. Some statistics:

    • Women constitute 45% of the workforce in the US, but hold just 12% of science and engineering jobs in business and industry. (National Council for Research on Women, Balancing The Equation: Where are Women & Girls in Science, Engineering & Technology? 2001)
    • Of the nearly 700,000 active pilots in the United States, less than 6% are women. (Federal Aviation Administration, 2000)
    • Only 20% of Information Technology professionals are women. (American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age” 2000)
    • Nearly 75% of tomorrow's jobs will require use of computers, but less than 33% of participants in computer courses and related activities are girls. (US Labor Statistics: JOBS 2000)
    • According to the US Department of Labor, by 2008 women will increase their share of the labor force from 46% to 48%. Although the fastest labor force increases will be among Latinas (49%) and Asian American women, (46%), African American women will increase their participation by 21% and white women by 13%. (U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, 2000)

    The resources below provide strategies for engagement, model programs and curricula that support girls learning science in in-formal settings.

    National Girls Collaborative Project
    This organization’s goal is to maximize access to shared resources within projects and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls' participation in STEM.

    Encouraging Girls in Math and Science Practice Guide
    Offers recommendations to encourage girls in math and science, plus essential concepts, recommended practices and planning templates.

    The Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ON THE AIR!
    Listen to the stories of women who have succeeded in STEM.

    Great Science for Girls, Academy for Educational Development
    Provides informal learning programs to stimulate girls’ interest in STEM.

    Engineer Girls, from the National Academy of Engineering
    Brings national attention to the opportunity that engineering represents to all people at any age, but particularly to women and girls.

    Tech Bridge
    Supports schools and youth organizations in setting up science programs.

    Women in Technology
    Based in Maui and funded by the US Department of Labor, Women In Technology encourages girls, women and underrepresented groups into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers.

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