A new report released by Techbridge identifies promising strategies – and calls for funders to adopt new approaches to ensure all girls – and particularly low-income girls of color – have access to high quality STEM learning opportunities that engage and interest them to pursue STEM education and careers.
Role of Teachers is Key to Building Girls’ Science Identity
A recent STELAR blog post details the scale-up of CompuGirls, Phoenix-based program that uses social justice-based multimedia projects to engage young women in activities that increase knowledge, understanding, and awareness of careers in STEM and information and communications technology (ICT). PI Kimberly Scott of Arizona State noted, “probably the most important learning surrounds the role of teachers in the program. For CompuGirls to be successful, teachers really have to be willing to embrace the role of facilitator, as opposed to director. This can be a difficult shift in perspective for some teachers. To re-shape traditional thinking, we are constantly working to hone and provide quality professional development that includes culturally responsive techniques that allow for open dialogue and student led projects.” Read the entire post here.
Women and Girls in STEM: Useful Infographics to Download and Share
Although women held 57% of the professional occupations overall in the US in 2015, they held just 25% of computing occupations in the U.S. Download and use an infographic with updated statistics on women and technology by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at Women and IT: By the Numbers. The National Girls Collaborative Project also has a useful infographic presenting the most compelling statistics for girls and women in STEM K-12 education, higher education, and the workforce. Download the NGCP infographic here.
Designing Science OST Program to Promote Girls Science Identity
In another article in the current Afterschool Matters Journal, “I Could See Myself as a Scientist”: The Potential of Out-of-School Time Programs to Influence Girls’ Identities in Science,” Kelly Riedinger and Amy Taylor focus on identity development as a potential key to encouraging more girls to enter STEM fields. They offer 6 recommendations for designing OST science learning programs to nurture girls’ science identities, connecting to and building on other life experiences, including encouraging girls’ input into program design/content, offering opportunities for girls to share their expertise, engage in authentic learning experiences that mirror the work of scientists, and supporting social interactions, Read here.
SciGirls Videos: Women in STEM
The National Girls Collaborative Project announces the premiere of SciGirls Profiles: Women in STEM, a collection of twelve short videos available to view online. These profiles feature women innovators, problem-solvers, and dreamers who are passionate about their work, hobbies, families, and helping to make the world a better place.
Pathways to Successful Careers After High School
This month we are spotlighting strategies for equipping young people with the skills and knowledge to achieve post-secondary success, particularly for first generation low-income students considering higher education.
- In March, Achieve, Inc. released The College and Career Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates compiling data to assess college and career readiness in every state. The report shows that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the military, and careers, and illuminates gaps in what we know in answer to the question: are high school graduates prepared for post-secondary success?
- The American Youth Policy Forum has a discussion group brief exploring how policy and practice can better support first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students. FGLI students often face unique and significant barriers to educational attainment, and on average have lower rates of post-secondary enrollment and persistence than their more affluent peers with parents who went to college. George Knowles of the American Youth Policy Forum discusses Washington state’s strategies to ensure students are involved in career planning early and often. A school counselor offers three simple questions to get students thinking: Who am I? What would I want to become? And how do I get there?
- The Harvard Family Research Project offers The Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case, designed to help educators understand the home, school, peer group, and community factors that influence decisions Latino youth might make during the transition to middle school, and it explores ways that families, schools, and youth-serving community organizations can work together to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
- America’s Promise Alliance reminds us that it is all about relationships with its follow up release to the 2014 Don’t Call Them Dropouts Report. The new study, Don’t Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships, includes perspectives of young people on the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving and returning to high school. From the introduction: “They told us they need respect, not judgment. They need resources — bus passes, a ride to school, a meal, a job, a chance. They need people to show care through actions, not advice. They need an anchor, not a hero. And they need a web of support, a healthy, supportive community of their own.”
- Get Smart’s recent publication Next Generation Career Pathways: A Manufacturing Case Study (in partnership with GPS Education Partners) explores how the rise of anywhere, anytime learning and competency-based approaches opens the door for Career and Technical Education programs to help connect high school students to manufacturing careers. Download the full paper.
- The Center for American Progress’s report, Utilizing National Service as a 21st Century Workforce Strategy for Opportunity Youth, will be of particular interest to those ecosystems pursuing VISTA volunteers. This report includes strategies to build capacity and incentivize states to leverage funding streams in order to expand service programs for opportunity youth and marginalized adults, and to create youth opportunity service-learning awards. It also includes six recommendations to strengthen the existing national service system as a workforce development strategy.