The need for greater diversity in science, technology, engineering and math has become a popular topic among researchers.
It is essential that the government, educators and parents encourage young girls to become more involved in STEM fields.
According to a paper published earlier this year in Psychological Science written by Gijsbert Stoet, from Leeds Beckett University, and David Geary, from the University of Missouri, “Girls performed similarly to or better than boys in science in two of every three countries, and in nearly all countries, more girls appeared capable of college-level STEM study than had enrolled.”
The STEM Action Center of Utah has been partnering with the Utah State Board of Education to work with K-6 grade teachers to help build a more STEM-based curriculum. Weber State University has been working closely with Davis School District, and they have become more STEM-based throughout the whole district.
Burch Creek Elementary School in the Weber School District currently has 10 teachers from first to sixth grade working on getting their endorsements for STEM opportunities.
“The Elementary STEM changes the way you teach,” Angie Snowden, a fourth-grade teacher, said. “The learning has become more hands-on. It has created wonder and curiosity with the students. They have become more eager to learn.”
Snowden is not the only educator who has enthusiastic thoughts on the program.
Another teacher named Melinda Messerli noted, “The students like to experience things for themselves. It’s not just textbooks and memorizing definitions. They have become more engaged. The students are asking answers, becoming problem solvers and discovering the answers by themselves.”
Over 50 Utah schools will be participating in the Girls Who Code Club. The club seeks to help middle and high school girls to get inspired and excited about computer coding.
“I’ve always been enthusiastic about science and math,” parent Jude Lee said. “Especially when it comes to my child’s education. I’ve heard about Girls Who Code and looked into enrolling my daughter, but there were no programs close by. I’m very thrilled that my child’s school is going to be implementing more STEM-oriented programs into the curriculum.”
Several students are anticipating future STEM opportunities through the Girls Who Code Club.
“I want to be part of it next year, and hopefully when I get to middle school, I can be in Girls Who Code,” Burch Creek Elementary School fourth grader Parker Johnson said. “That just sounds so awesome and fun.”
Girls who are looking for information concerning STEM internships, scholarships, networking opportunities and events can visit The STEM Action Center of Utah’s website.