How You Can Inspire Young Girls to Pursue STEM Education and Careers
4 Tips for Getting Girls Excited About STEM
In our modern world, STEM skills are becoming increasingly sought after by companies across many markets. Though STEM continues to be a male-dominated field, it’s time to shift the narrative.
According to data from the Society of Women Engineers, only 13% of engineers are women! And here at Engineering For Kids, we want to help inspire the next generation of female engineers to help close that gap.
If you have a daughter, niece, or student, here’s how you can help get young girls more interested in STEM!
1. Instill self-confidence.
Encourage children to pursue things that interest them and play with toys regardless of the traditional gender stereotypes. Girls may think that video games or building things are only for boys, but we know they’re not!
Focus compliments on the process — how they think through, create, and test different solutions. It’s also important that kids know failing is ok; in fact, many life-changing inventions were actually made on accident!
2. Introduce problem-solving at home.
Problem-solving isn’t only something taught in a classroom — it’s something everyone experiences in their day-to-day life. It may be easy just to give a child an answer, but helping them understand the “why” or “how” behind the problem helps to spark curiosity. A new kind of code or tougher math equation can challenge them to learn how to solve problems from beginning to end.
3. Celebrate successful women in STEM.
Children often look up to people (real or fictional) as role models; what better way to spark a young girl’s interest in STEM than to introduce her to women in the field! Think about any friends or family members who may work in STEM careers or point out female characters in TV shows or movies.
For example, one of our favorite new shows — Lego Masters — has several female contestants creating some remarkable things! And did you know, Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik plays a neuroscientist on the show but also has her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in real life? There are also plenty of fictional books and films that offer brilliant examples of females in STEM — Princess Shuri in Black Panther, for example, runs the entire science and technology operation for the country of Wakanda!
4. Help her access STEM-related extracurriculars.
From visiting museums and zoos to signing her up for a STEM-related after school programs or camps, you can easily help the young girl in your life access STEM learning opportunities.
So if you’re looking for a local camp, after school program, class, or workshop, look no further. At Engineering For Kids, we strive to inspire young girls from 4 to 14 to build on their innate desire for answers by exploring engineering concepts in a fun, hands-on way. Experience the difference our programs can make, contact your local EFK to learn more!