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Recent events help female students see the value in STEM careers

THURSDAY, MAY 09, 2013 10:12 AM

Once the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are fully implemented in schools, many K-12 students will receive more in-depth mathematical instruction, as well as greater exposure to technology in their classrooms. While this will help pupils of both genders, it will be especially beneficial to female students.

The more young girls are exposed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM subjects, the greater the chance they will grow up to work in these fields. This is considered by many to be essential, as males dominate many professions in fields like technology and science.

Rather than waiting for the full implementation of the CCSS, many educators, schools and professionals are now taking it upon themselves to promote an interest in STEM subjects among girls.

Nurturing a passion
In April, Montana State University Billings opened its doors to almost 2,000 girls from grades four through eight for the sixth annual Chicks in Science event, The Billings Gazette reported. Those in attendance had a chance to explore about 50 booths that were designed to nurture their passion for STEM subjects, such as architecture, engineering and paleontology.

Charlie Gregoroff, a third-grader at Montana's Hobson Elementary School, was among the girls in attendance. The 9-year-old told the news source about what it would feel like to one day unearth a dinosaur bone.

"I would be the first person to ever see the bone that has been buried for millions and millions of years," Gregoroff told the news outlet. "That would be the neatest experience ever."

Encouraging interest
DeVry University is another academic institution that is focused on helping girls see the value in pursuing jobs in STEM fields. The University recently hosted the national program HerWorld, which provided local high school students with a chance to learn more about STEM careers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Through HerWorld, around 175 female high school students had a chance to meet with women who are considered leaders in such fields as science and mathematics. For girls like Faith Mancol, a senior at Romeoville High School in Illinois, it was an opportunity to feel more comfortable about their interest in entering male-dominated professions.

"It made me more confident about going into that field," Mancol told the news source. "There's more men than women, but they are strong women."