STEM education provides many opportunities and challenges. How can our practice evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century learners?

Are We Getting Too Aggressive Promoting STEM to Girls?

Kevin Jarrett K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey

Had an interesting conversation with a parent the other day. I had just shared this video about the GoldieBlox kit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFpe3Up9T_g

And, a parent friend on FB shared it too. *WE* agree this is a great thing but she got pushback from a friend who said she was tiring of all the promotion about girls in STEM and that some kids just wanted to be "regular" or "girlie" girls.

Has anyone encountered anything similar?

The obvious response is that every child has to find their own way and that the amount of promotion we are doing re: girls in STEM absolutely PALES in comparison to the amount of "encouragement" (sic) about girls see in the media regarding their roles in society.

What do you think?

-kj-

Comments (12)

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8th grade Family and Consumer Science Teacher from South Jersey

Let's get an agreement on

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Let's get an agreement on what STEM is: From where I sit I see it as an integrated curriculum which puts Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics together to foster creative thinking. Through teaching the engineering design process through a Project Based Learning method, all students will be able to enjoy the joys of STEM in practical uses for their life. I teach STEM daily even though many colleagues would diminish my subject content as being old fashioned.
If girls were enabled from an early age to participate in STEM activities they could potentially find a rewarding career. Better yet, if we combine the ARTS in with STEM - we will find that girls truly can gain the emotional connection that many crave.
Just my opinion as a girl who grew up building dog houses, boats, etc.

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Sue! There are a lot of

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Hi Sue!

There are a lot of people who are working with STEAM- adding the Arts (A) into STEM, and I think it works well. It reminds me of places like Stanford's design school (They have some great k-12 things here: http://www.k12lab.org/) where teaching the process of design thinking is just a natural way to think through problem solving.
(BTW- Tom and Dave Kelley's new book on Creative Confidence should be on every teacher's Xmas list.)

Check this site out as well- STEM to STEAM: http://stemtosteam.org/

I think with things like 3D printers becoming more accessible to students, the opportunity to design, rapid prototype and realize an object/idea in a short period of time is incredibly powerful!

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