Turning Girls Loose to Build in STEM — from innotechtoday.com by Katherine Rieder


To elementary-school science teachers and nostalgic postsecondary STEM students, it sounds like a dream. Yet the refrain resounding through the room is one of “this isn’t fair,” or “it’s too hard,” often accompanied by low grumbles and furrowed brows. This reaction to a relatively unstructured learning activity where the learning process takes priority over finding a concrete and “correct” answer is, in fact, typical with this age group and gender.

It results from the mutually reinforcing combination of girls’ decreasing confidence in their innate intellectual ability and the fixed mindset many develop as they move through the early years of their formal education. These same factors are incredibly detrimental to a young woman’s engagement with STEM and a future career in the field.