Why girls need more STEM role models

ByLavinia E. Smith

Apr 26, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This story was initially released by Chalkbeat. Indicator up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

My Innovative Placement laptop science class is 50 % girls and 50 percent boys. I mentor an award-winning robotics staff, Retro5ive, that is equally well balanced in between girls and boys, virtually all of whom are pupils of color.

Having there necessitates combating gender norms and stereotypes every day. This drop, when conducting a two-week Equipment and Develop module with the robotics crew, I held up a pop rivet gun and asked students what it was. Here’s a recap of an exchange involving me, a boy who was studying about the group, and a handful of women on the crew.

Boy: “Well, do you know what the software is?”


Me: “Of class. I’m the one who is teaching this to you.”

Boy: “Where’s the coach?”

Ladies: “She’s the mentor.”

Boy: “But you are a girl.”

Me: “I know.”

Boy: “You’re the mentor? I assumed you could possibly teach us the coding since I know you teach personal computer science. But you are heading to train us how to construct the robotic?”

To me, this was an illustration of how a great deal electrical power educators have to form what pupils perceive as ordinary. Gender stereotypes, a deficiency of purpose types, and unequal entry to STEM classes and pursuits all engage in a part in holding women and people of color out of fields like physics, computer system science, and robotics. That is why it is so critical for me to exhibit my pupils that there are no boundaries to what they can obtain.

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