At Girl Scouts of Western Washington, we’re always looking for new ways to engage girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
So last spring, we gathered a group of girls together to talk science. They were in grades K-8 and from diverse, low-income communities where access to STEM opportunities is often limited. We didn’t tell the girls what the conversation was about beforehand—we wanted to see their immediate, real-time response to the idea of STEM programming.
When we introduced the word “science,” their reactions were alarming.
Several girls walked out. Others said we’d tricked them. Almost every girl said science was boring, and many said it was difficult, hard or frightening. Almost no one could describe what an engineer does.
We took those reactions as a challenge: how could we get these girls to engage with STEM—without scaring them off? Read more