Girls in STEM Impacting Futures/Changing Attitudes in STEM
About The Project
Despite the advancements made by women in the employment sector and the academic success enjoyed by girls, women continue to be persistently underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). In Ireland, women represented fewer than 25% of people working in jobs that use STEM skills.
Research on gender and STEM tells us that in order for young women to pursue a career in STEM, they must believe in the importance of STEM and believe in their ability to succeed in the field. Research conducted by Microsoft has revealed that most girls become interested in STEM at age 11, but their inherent interest starts to wane by age 15.
Students in post-primary schools designated as disadvantaged (DEIS) are particularly under-represented in STEM in Ireland and are less likely to pursue STEM after post-primary school.
This project aims to develop and strengthen the interest and attitudes of young girls in post-primary schools designated as disadvantaged (DEIS) in STEM.
Overview of the project
Professional development days are designed to:
Allow teachers to develop a cross-curricular, collaborative approach to the teaching of STEM supporting the key skills and principles of Junior Cycle.
Introduce teachers to our online platform and resources.
Support teachers employing story-telling methodology and Philosophy for Children (P4C) pedagogy in their classrooms.
Provide opportunities to develop communities of practice amongst the teachers
Share learning and identify good practice.
Provide the opportunity for students and teachers to shape and guide the future of the project.
Female Pioneers in STEM
In this project, students will engage with STEM by exploring the lives and impacts of a number of female STEM pioneers, both historical and contemporary. Exposure to such role-models has been shown to have a positive and significant effect on girls’ enjoyment of STEM, the importance they attach to STEM, and their aspirations in STEM.
Students are provided with a library of resources that aim to foster an emotional connection with STEM women leaders through the mechanism of story-telling, which is a powerful tool for developing growth mindset and fostering critical thinking.
A variety of activities are provided to act as stimuli for students to interrogate and explore the issue of gender in STEM and use the past as a lens to analyse the current attitudes toward women in STEM.
Our shared learning day in December 2019 was opened by Ms Sabina Higgins and saw our participating schools come together to celebrate and exhibit their projects in UCD and attend a number of talks on the opportunities available to girls and women in STEM in Ireland today.
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