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Girls & STEM: Making it Happen

It is often said that girls either are not interested in STEM subjects or are left out for various reasons. Some of this “common knowledge” is actually a myth – girls are interested in SOME STEM areas, such as biology, but not others, such as computer science. This session will take a deep dive into these myths and realities to discover what is really attractive to girls in elementary and secondary schools in STEM subjects.

Participants will learn about the Maker Movement and the potential to bring new tools and technology to K-12 classrooms to support hands-on learning across all grades and curriculum – but particularly STEM and STEAM. The implications of the Maker Movement are two-fold. One is that many of the technological inventions support areas that are of particular interest to girls, such as inventions that help people, sewable electronics, e-textiles, bio-materials, and community projects. The second is that the collaborative, tinkering nature of the Maker Movement dovetails with girls ability to work collaboratively and in a connected way. By exploring best practices from schools around the world that have successfully created strong STEM programs for girls, the participants in this session will be able to take away ideas and resources that will be of use in their own schools and districts.
(This was a session presented at ISTE 2015.)
(All citations can be found at http://sylviamartinez.com/girls-stem

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Girls & STEM: Making it Happen

  1. 1. Girls & STEM: Making it Happen Sylvia Martinez sylvia@inventtolearn.com Twitter: @smartinez sylviamartinez.com
  2. 2. Invent To Learn: Making,Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom www.InventToLearn.com Maker tools, materials, & tech Tinkering mindset Engineering design How to make the case for “making” in the classroom robotics e-textiles 3D printing Arduino Scratch Raspberry Pi programming electronics sensors laser cutters STEM/STEAM
  3. 3. National Girls Collaborative Project
 ngcproject.org/exemplary-practices-overview • Engaging Girls in STEM • Access & Equity • Collaboration • Evaluation & Assessment One Stop for Resources All resources: sylviamartinez.com/stem-girls
  4. 4. Sobering Statistics about Women and STEM Jobs • "Women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000" - Forbes. • Women leave STEM jobs at a significantly higher rate then men - often citing gender issues
  5. 5. Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing - American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  6. 6. Securing Australia’s Future STEM: Country Comparisons - Australian Council of Learned Academies
  7. 7. Common issues • There are no women in computer science because there are no women in computer science. • Culture • Economics • Stereotypes • Stereotype threat • Lack of encouragement • Discrimination
  8. 8. Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing - American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  9. 9. Discrimination Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing - American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  10. 10. Leaky bucket Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing - American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  11. 11. 2001
  12. 12. Generation STEM: What girls say about Science,Technology, Engineering, and Math - Girl Scouts of the USA (2012) (Girls 14-17)
  13. 13. Teacher bias • Statistically, teachers give boys more opportunity to figure out the solution to a problem by themselves while telling the girls to follow the rules. • Teachers are also more likely to accept questions from boys while telling girls to wait their turn. • Teachers rate girls ability in math lower than boys, in spite of grades & test scores
  14. 14. Teacher Attitudes • Math anxiety impacts student learning • Elementary education majors have some of the highest levels of mathematics anxiety • Female teachers’ math anxiety disproportionally affects girls’ math achievement 
 (elementary study; 90% of elementary teachers are female) Beilock, Sian L., et al. "Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.5 (2010): 1860-1863. Gresham, Gina. "A study of mathematics anxiety in pre-service teachers." Early Childhood Education Journal 35.2 (2007): 181-188. Teachers’ Spatial Anxiety Relates to 1st- and 2nd-Graders’ Spatial Learning
  15. 15. • More boys than girls perform at the very highest levels in spatial reasoning and math ability tests • However, girls get better grades in math and science • Test scores tend to under-predict girls’ success in college math courses. • Females who have high math abilities are more likely than males with high math abilities to choose careers in non-math intensive areas.This preference shows up as early as adolescence. • Females who have high math abilities are also more likely than males who have high math abilities to also have high verbal abilities, giving them more choices of majors/careers to pursue. Given the barriers, maybe this is a reasonable choice! Women’s underrepresentation in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. (2009) Effective STEM Programs for Adolescent Girls: Three Approaches and Many Lessons Learned (2013)
  16. 16. Leaky pipeline + leaky bucket
  17. 17. What can we do?
  18. 18. Girls more likely to: • Girls are more likely to look to the teacher for clues on how to behave or what to choose • Collaborate & strive for consensus • Let others take credit • Take the blame • Decline to compete for scarce materials • Take on organizational roles • Be compliant and adapt
  19. 19. Stereotype Threat Is the threat (and resultant anxiety) of confirming a negative stereotype about one's group - including race, gender, and other identities. (Steele & Aronson, 1995)
  20. 20. Stereotype Threat
  21. 21. Solutions • Discuss stereotypes; similar to growth mindset • Role models, peer mentors, & non-gendered examples • Real world problems and projects • Focus on helping others • Gender-neutral spaces • Change how STEM subjects are taught
  22. 22. Problem Solving • Dr. Seymour Papert defined two styles of problem solving: analytical and bricolage • Bricolage - French for tinkering, using found objects, playfulness in creation • Higher grades = more analytical • Real world is both
  23. 23. Mastery styles Sherry Turkle • Hard mastery - linear, rigid, abstract, solitary • Soft mastery - non-linear, messy, concrete, collaborative • Hard mastery - academic & rigorous... masculine • Soft mastery - naive & lazy... feminine
  24. 24. "The bricoleur resembles the painter who stands back between brushstrokes, looks at the canvas, and only after this contemplation, decides what to do next." - Sherry Turkle
  25. 25. Top 10 Ways To Be a Male Advocate for Technical Women 1. Listen to women's stories 2. Talk to other men (privately & publicly) 3. Seek out ways to recruit women 4. Increase the number and visibility of female leaders 5. Mentor and sponsor women/have a woman mentor National Center of Women & Informational Technology - https://www.ncwit.org/resources/read-online-maleadvocate
  26. 26. Top 10 Ways To Be a Male Advocate for Technical Women 6. Notice and correct micro-inequities or instances of unconscious bias 7. Establish accountability metrics 8. Model alternative work/life strategies & balance 9. Make discussions of gender less “risky" 10. Reach out to formal and informal women's groups National Center of Women & Informational Technology - https://www.ncwit.org/resources/read-online-maleadvocate
  27. 27. MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating, and Inventing intel.com/girlsintech
  28. 28. MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating, and Inventing intel.com/girlsintech
  29. 29. Fabrication
  30. 30. Physical Computing • Low-cost, open source microprocessors & software • Add interactivity to the real world • Connect analog to digital world with sensors, cameras, bluetooth, wireless • “Internet of Things” Raspberry Pi - $35 computer Arduino E-textiles
  31. 31. Sensor glove - CMU Interactive corset that teaches deep breathing techniques Wearable soundscape triggered by heartbeat
  32. 32. Imogen Heap
  33. 33. Programming • Global call for teaching programming • New languages for every goal and age • Shareable code • Key to unlocking educational value of making
  34. 34. Scratch is free and designed for learning with connections to robotics and modern materials
  35. 35. Scratch connects to robots and real world
  36. 36. Cardboard Construction Makedo Rolobox Hummingbird
  37. 37. MaKey MaKey
  38. 38. MaKey MaKey
  39. 39. Squishy Circuits • Homemade dough • Conductive/ Insulating • Make circuits!
  40. 40. Conductive materials • Conductive thread • Copper tape, foil • Conductive ink, paint, glue • Conductive fabric • Graphite pencils
  41. 41. Conductive materials • Conductive thread • Copper tape, foil • Conductive ink, paint, glue • Conductive fabric • Graphite pencils DIYgirls.org
  42. 42. If  technical  tinkering,  STEM,  and  digital  fabrication  are  the   economic  forces  that  will  empower  Makers,  and  women  and   people  of  color  are  not  participating  in  these  activities  in  a  visible   way,  that  power  will  remain  unequally  distributed.  When  gender  is   discussed  in  relation  to  the  maker  movement,  the  conversation   starts  with  the  notion  that  Making  creates  a  unique  opportunity   for  inclusive  participation,  and  is  quickly  followed  by  the  question   ‘how  can  we  get  more  women  to  participate?’  Generally,  the   responses  focus  on  transforming  women,  on  areas  that  need  to  be   corrected,  such  as  raising  confidence,  creating  more  woman/girl   friendly  learning  environments,  increasing  ability  in  math  and   science,  and  so  on.  The  women  themselves  cause  the  problem;   they  lack  confidence,  they  are  unable  to  learn  in  the  ‘normal’  STEM   environment,  they  do  not  embrace  their  full  capability  in  math  and   science.  It  is  the  women  who  are  deficient. Power,  Access,  Status:  The  Discourse  of  Race,  Gender,  and  Class  in  the  Maker  Movement  -­‐  Lauren  Britton   Making is not a magic wand…
  43. 43. Great materials + Inspiration
  44. 44. Next Generation Science Standards • Significant increase in integration of engineering and technology from previous science standards • Elevates engineering design to same level of importance as scientific inquiry • Two reasons given: • Aspirational: Scientific challenges are motivating and young people want to make the world a better place • Practical:The process of design is not the same as the scientific method.
  45. 45. Scantron mathface http://www.flickr.com/photos/schestok/414196453/ This is not science!
  46. 46. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science. Albert Einstein
  47. 47. Girls & STEM • Embrace all learning styles • Address stereotypes honestly and give all students tools to overcome them • Real world projects • Address teacher anxiety and biases • Change how STEM subjects are taught
  48. 48. STEM For All • Embrace all learning styles • Address stereotypes honestly and give all students tools to overcome them • Real world projects • Address teacher anxiety and biases • Change how STEM subjects are taught
  49. 49. How do teachers learn to teach this way? http://www.inventtolearn.com/workshops/ http://constructingmodernknowledge.com
  50. 50. Events Resources Free stuff Project ideas New books Email newsletter friend@inventtolearn.com
  51. 51. Seize this moment in history to give ALL kids the mindset, tools, and techniques to make sense and take charge of their world.
  52. 52. Let’s make it happen! www.inventtolearn.com Sylvia Martinez sylvia@inventtolearn.com Twitter: @smartinez
  53. 53. Resources Maker Invent To Learn MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating, and Inventing (Intel infographic) Power, Access, Status: The Discourse of Race, Gender, and Class in the Maker Movement Leah Buechley - Gender, Making, and the Maker Movement (video from FabLearn 2013) Associations National Girls Collaborative Project (links to many others) National Council of Women and Informational Technology American Association of University Women WISE (UK) - campaign to promote women in science, technology, and engineering Other posts about gender issues, stereotype threat, and other topics mentioned in this session Stereotype Threat - Why it matters Inclusive Makerspaces (article for EdSurge) What a Girl Wants: Self-direction, technology, and gender Self-esteem and me (a girl) becoming an engineer Research Securing Australia’s Future STEM: Country Comparisons - Australian Council of Learned Academies Generation STEM:  What girls say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - Girl Scouts of the USA (2012) (Girls 14-17) Effective STEM Programs for Adolescent Girls: Three Approaches and Many Lessons Learned Women’s underrepresentation in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. (2009) Gresham, Gina. "A study of mathematics anxiety in pre-service teachers." Early Childhood Education Journal 35.2 (2007): 181-188. Beilock, Sian L., et al. "Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.5 (2010): 1860-1863. Teachers’ Spatial Anxiety Relates to 1st- and 2nd-Graders’ Spatial Learning Statistics National Center for Educational Statistics National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

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