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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

Around the world, computers are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. For many, we carry them with us wherever we go- they are our teachers, guides, mentors, translators, accountants, friends, playmates, and many other roles. From the beginning women have played an important role in “the history of computing”, and this resource shared with us by a young woman exploring STEM careers, Colleen, tells the stories of women instrumental in the building of the computer world. Get inspired, like Colleen, by learning more about the History of Women and Computers.

*Special thank you to Colleen for sharing this resource with us.

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You’ve heard the line over and over, “Teachers need to find ways to get students interested in STEM fields”. This push for early education interventions to increase student’s interest and retention in STEM can be a huge source of pressure and stress for teachers. Need some tips for ways to make sure your lesson plan is a success? Make sure you’ve “debugged” your plan ahead of time by following these quick and easy checks!

 

timetravel

Do you find your student’s “learning to the test” or not connecting your lessons with life outside the classroom? This Time Traveler website may be just the homework assignment you need! Empower your students to see for themselves how scientific innovations make a difference in our world. Students can pick any decade and travel through the years to read about how different inventions shaped the world as they know it. Want to make sure they did their homework? Have them take the decade quizzes at the end of each section to see what they’ve learned.

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Sexual harassment is not a popular topic. Shame is often the leading emotional experience after enduring any form of harassment, and is often a factor in why so many of these events go unnoticed and unreported. There are also many other reasons why sexual harassment may occur in these fields and why it is often silenced. Read more of the articles below to begin to understand this challenge facing many women scientists today. It is up to all of us to first be aware of this issue, and to take steps to prevent it from happening – in any workplace.

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csi web adventures

One of the best ways to foster children’s interest in science is to expose them to the joy of discovery! CSI Web Adventures is a great resource to get children thinking like scientists through an engaging computer-game format. Students go through a series of beginner, intermediate, and advanced CSI cases, apply their knowledge of forensic science along the way. Looking to facilitate this resource with a class or even your own children? It comes with an educator’s guide and a family guide as well! TIP: Once your student’s interest is peaked, make sure to direct them to the section on “Cool Science Careers” so that they can get excited about ways to harness their love for forensics in their future career.

women scientists

Although the gender gap in STEM careers exists around the globe, current research on global STEM involvement shows that the rates for women’s involvement in STEM vary from country to country. The explanation for this trend: “…success in math and the hard sciences is almost entirely dependent on culture – a culture that teaches girls math isn’t cool, and no one will date them if they excel in physics; a culture in which professors rarely encourage their female students to continue on for advanced degrees; a culture in which success in graduate school is a matter of isolation, competition and ridiculously long hours in the lab; a culture in which female scientists are hired less frequently than men, earn less money and are allotted fewer resources.” Read more about Eillen Pollack’s research here to learn about what is keeping women from engaging in STEM careers and what YOU can do about it.

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The energy in the room was after The Game was palpable. STEM graduate students, worn-out from their long days of working in lab, gathered around to participate in the Who You Are Matters! game – an interactive personal and professional development experience. It was inspiring to see such brilliant minds being brought to life through meaningful conversations. Student’s honored each other’s stories, explored possibilities for further development, and provided feedback to move each other towards their individual goals. It was truly an entire weekend workshop, facilitated in just 2-hours!

Not only were student’s inspired to take meaningful actions towards their individual goals, they experienced genuine connection – a rare opportunity in their busy lives. After playing with her group, computer scientist Gareth Halladay shared, “It was so inspiring to connect with each of you on a deeper level and realize that we all share common experiences and go through our own seasons as graduate students”. Another student reflected, “I just love that we got to encourage each other to go out and achieve what we want in life”.

In an environment that is constantly pushing for more, taking time to be with one another, to connect and collaborate, is invaluable to achieving greater successes.  Click here to learn more about how you can be trained to facilitate the Who You Are Matter’s experience. There is simply no substitute for the power of peer connection and encouragement.

 

Student’s pictured here are participants of Colorado State University’s GAUSSI Program – a transdisciplinary graduate training program consisting of extra courses, professional development opportunities, and mentoring and seminars in fields of large scale biological data analysis.

 

girl engineer

https://www.engineergirl.org/ is a great resource for middle school girls to begin exploring and getting excited about careers in engineering. Students can browse engineering fun facts, bios of women professionals who love their work, and even “try on a career” in engineering that fits their individual interests and talents. Do your students already know they want to go into engineering? Direct them to the “How To Get There” section of the website for tips and resources to prepare them for a fulfilling career as an engineer.