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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

Debbie Sterling, founder of GoldieBlox children’s toys explains the problem of why there are so few women in STEM. Watch her two-minute video to hear her opinion of how to fix it.


A new study suggests that women’s lack of confidence in their math skills may be one reason for the gender gap in the STEM fields.

The study used a national survey of 5,000 college students enrolled in first-semester calculus. Among all aiming to pursue STEM careers, 35% of women reported that they did not understand calculus well enough to continue to the next semester compared to 14% of men. This results suggest a lack of confidence, rather than a lack of mathematical ability, may be responsible for the high drop-out rate of women pursuing STEM careers. The authors postulate that if women persisted in STEM at the same rate as men Starting in Calculus I, the number of women entering the STEM workforce would increase by 75%.

The study appears in PLOS One.

Exploring career paths and learning about college has never been so fun! Education Planner is a great tool for middle and high school students to participate in engaging, interactive activities, while exploring how to learn about themselves, plan for a career, and even pay for school. Check out the career cluster activity to see what careers you would excel in!

To access the full site, click here.

Engineer Your Life is a fantastic site for high school girls examining whether the field of engineering could be a good fit for them. The site is with loaded dream jobs that depict inspiring women loving what they do, while making a difference. Not only will girls feel excited about the different career possibilities in front of them, they will feel empowered to trust that they can “make it happen” There are also sections for parents and counselors learn more about the various fields of engineering, why engineering is a great career, and how they can advise their students about the field of engineering.

To learn more, click HERE.

SciGirls CONNECT is a national outreach effort to encourage educators to adopt new, research based strategies to engage girls in STEM. Visit and click on RESOURCES to find quick easy ways to supplement your curriculum with activities and videos. You will find low-cost, step-by-step instructions to teach a lesson on any of the following topics: earth & space, engineering & design, health, life & environment, physical science, and technology. With all the lesson planning done for you, all you need to bring is your education and enthusiasm!

The U.S. Department of State has funded a summer program called TechGirls that brings females from across the world to the U.S. for hands on work in STEM. This program helps inspire interests and maintain roles for female students in STEM. The overall goal is to continue improving gender equality and opportunities for women in every field. One student of the program said she feels some of her fellow female students just don’t have the confidence to pursue STEM. However, after participating in TechGirls she feels the female students are more than capable to study STEM they just need the right tools and opportunities. A global-scale program like this will hopefully make a significant difference for gender equality everywhere. Programs like this will also help the next generation of female leaders to confidently be prepared to tackle a successful career in STEM.

To read the full article click here.

The resources for students to learn about careers in STEM are slim. NATS (National Air Traffic Control Services) held a session specifically designed for teachers and counselors to improve their knowledge of STEM. The main idea is to get teachers and counselors educated about STEM so they are able to pass the message to students. If counselors don’t know what careers and opportunities are available in the field, then they are not the best people to give advice on the subject. To get more students to pursue a career in STEM education is a great first step. At least in this case teachers and counselors will have a foundation of knowledge on STEM to draw from. The event is a great example of what should be widespread across high schools. Counselors and educators job is to help students to make great decisions. In the grand scheme of things, students are still young making major decisions when choosing a careers path and improving the approach can help them put their best foot forward.

To read the full article click here.

The male dominated STEM culture has to start taking women seriously. Universities have implemented mentorship programs and tried to help females in STEM throughout their time in college. However, after they graduate females are quitting, specifically the field of engineering, at a consistent rate. Susan Silbey said it perfectly that “gender stereotyping in the workplace, coupled with unchallenging projects, blatant sexual harassment, and greater isolation from supportive networks, leads many female students to revisit their ambitions.” Diary entries collected from engineering students revealed a lot about the difference experiences between men and women in the field. In group work in school for example, females are often given secretarial jobs versus the males who get to work on the technical engineering content. On the job front, the entries also showed the majority of males enjoy their internships while females feel they are not taken seriously and given fewer hands on problem solving jobs. The study also found women tend to want to be involved with socially conscious engineering, but soon realize most firms don’t pay attention to those issues. These negative experiences are pushing females out of engineering and unless the culture changes the numbers will continue to drop.

To access the full article click here.