In this installment, several articles focus on the recruitment and retention of women in STEM. While not directly related to STEM learning, the disparity between women and men in STEM disciplines is an important topic and influences how we talk about and implement STEM learning. We also learn about collaboration and the importance of STEM learning. Finally, you will find a great deal on Make books.
In this article the author compares the push for technology associated with the space race with the current pushes for STEM in education and the workforce. The STEM education movement–referred to as the great equalizer by the author–are being driven in part by the maker movement and the White House’s support of the movement. In addition to government support, many companies are also supporting STEM education initiatives.
The article provides personal anecdotes from prominent STEM professionals, and then focuses on the inaugural meeting of the Triangle Women in STEM initiative. The group aims to help women succeed in traditional STEM fields and tangential disciplines. One of their ambitious goals is the establishment of a model for recruiting and retaining women in STEM.
Let Toys Be Toys released a fascinating white paper that looks at advertising on UK children’s television programming. Some commentary and lengthier summary than what is usually featured here can be found on an article on site that was posted earlier this week.
The article provides an interesting lens through which to view STEM: imagery. Interestingly, Getty has seen a stark increase in the number of searches related to women+STEM. Moreover, Microsoft and other companies have started featuring more women in their web properties. And now, Washington STEM is collaborating with Getty and UK’s Your Life to run a competition in which participants upload images featuring diversity representation in STEM.
After a brief introduction the article moves to interviews with three women involved in STEM fields. The interview questions revolve around several STEM-related ideas: sexism and other obstacles they had to overcome, tips for high school girls interested in STEM, and tips for college women involved with STEM.
Researchers ran experiments involving 141 four-year-old children to test whether social activity motivated children’s interest in STEM. Their findings include children persisting with activities longer when they perceive they are part of a group or team and children’s enjoyment increases when collaboration is involved. The results seem in line with results from other studies conducted by the author.
The number of women in STEM disciplines is not far off (40% vs. 60%) at the beginning of careers, but that women persist–dropping to only 15%–at a much lower rate than men. The author summarizes some reasons for the phenomenon, mentions organizations looking to combat it, and offers some ways to prevent it.
Make and Humble Bundle have teamed up to present an awesome array of maker-related e-books at very accessible prices ($15 will net you 22 total books). If you do not already have these titles, this is a great way to add them to your library while supporting a great cause.