My friend shared this article with me on Linkedin yesterday and it resonated with me. I like how the author says we have to change our arguments when promoting STEM fields for girls, that the argument of “this is where the jobs are” though true, is not enough.:
We need to stop telling an entire gender they need to embrace STEM because it’s good for their brain or if they don’t, boys will get all the good, high-paying jobs. It’s not working, and I’m kind of glad, because it means girls aren’t buying the logic that they need to do something just because boys do. We need to play to girls’ strengths and invite them to participate in projects that create solutions for social issues or problems that they care about — and then offer accessible tech which empowers girls to stop thinking about doing STEM and just use the technology, developing skills along the way as a means to an end. When STEM is simply a set of skills and tools to help solve problems we care about, it takes the scary out of tech.
Which is what we are doing with our newly minted Technovation Challenge team! The teams consist of girls aged 10-23 from all around the worl. The challenge is to create a prototype of an app that helps solve a community problem. Technically, the challenge doesn’t begin until January, but our girls are so hung ho we have begun to meet regularly on Thursday after school.
In fact, you might have seen this form in your inbox this morning. It would be wonderful if you could take a minute and think about a problem that has been bugging you in the community (it could be at school, in your neighbourhood or all of Montreal) and tell us about it. Although the girls have a lot of great ideas, it would be awesome to hear from the community at large. Take a minute and tell us your ideas!
I don’t believe that girls are turned off by STEM because it’s hard or simply because girls think they’re bad at math. Girls aren’t wimps or wilting flowers; they don’t shrink from challenges just because something isn’t a strength. We, as a culture,…