July 3rd marks the start of the International Math Olympiad. As math fanatics around the world amp up for the so-called World Cup of Mathematics, a looming concern exists: Less than 10 percent of IMO participants are female. How can we bridge the gender gap in STEM fields?
For the past several years, this concern has surfaced over and over again in international dialogue regarding education, international development, and women’s rights. While it has become obvious that employment in STEM fields is essential for global economic development, girls and women are increasingly underrepresented. In a US study on women in STEM, researchers found that in the past 29 years the percentage of young women earning computer science degrees has dropped from 37% to 18%. This is a small but telling anecdote of the issue.
Edudemic, a maven in online edtech know-how puts it well: “how do we get more girls interested in STEM subjects and get them feeling confident that they can rock out in awesome, fun, high-paying, important and interesting careers that are still largely dominated by men?” Innovative leaders around the world are tackling this issue from many angles. Many organizations aim to create female focused events and competitions. For example, on June 23, 2014 Chelsea Clinton hosted From STEM to Success, an event focused on encouraging girls to enter STEM fields. Others promote solutions like STEM mentorships and STEM camps. Here at FastFig, we are passionate about embracing STEM learning tools!
In the spirit of inspiring learning tools, here are 4 tools that are rocking the STEM game for girls:
1. Roominate: “Buildable Dollhouses for Girls” What a genius rethinking of dollhouses!
2. Engineer Girl an easy way for girls to connect directly to professionals in STEM fields
3. Sci Girls social network for girls with STEM interests
4. Design Squad a lively series of STEM games and how-tos
In the coming months our team at FastFig plans to continue our efforts to promote and encourage girls in STEM! Ideas? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
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