March is National Women’s History Month!
This month we are going to highlight women who have made an impact through STEM. Across history, women continue to make an incredible impact on our culture through their innovations, ideas, skills, and perseverance. With the efforts of STEMinists, including myself, women have been increasingly getting the recognition, respect, and equal treatment they deserve.
There are advances in this cause as women in STEM now make 92¢ on the dollar compared to men in STEM fields compared to 77¢ on the dollar in non-STEM fields. Though this is a positive sign, there are still many issues to address.
For example, even though many are working hard to provide STEM opportunities for women, there has been a decrease of interest in STEM of women leaving high school since 2012. We as educators, need to do a better job of inspiring young women and provide examples of female change-makers in STEM fields early and often throughout preK-12 education.
STEMtistic of the Month:
Women are 50% of the overall United States workforce; however, women only constitute 24% of the STEM workforce.
How can we inspire and build our young women’s interest in STEM? It starts by breaking down gender stereotypes, changing the way we talk with all our children, and providing opportunities for girls to dream, inquire, tinker, and see the possibilities. Here are a few companies and organizations sharing this message:
- Barbie You Can Be Anything: Barbie launched their very first STEM kit in 2016 along with a line of career-themed Barbie’s. This campaign was developed to empower girls and help them to start visualizing their dreams titled, You Can Be Anything! Check out their video showcasing the power of dreaming and play.
- Million Women Mentors (MWM): To help girls meet real world examples of women in STEM careers, MWM has launched a campaign to link organizations and schools. To date, they have had over 1.3 million pledges for mentoring! Search their website for local mentoring partners for your students.
- National Girls Collaborative Project: This project is truly what it is named; bringing together organizations who want to impact and encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM. They have great data about the status of women in STEM and how people across the nation are bringing change to gender equality.
- Goldieblox / TEDx: How do you disrupt the “pink” aisle in toy stores across the country? By challenging gender stereotypes through integrating engineering, storytelling, and STEM skills. Check out CEO of Goldieblox, Debbie Sterling talk about inspiring female engineers of the future.
Download the March 2017 STEMtistic Image
STEM Content Connection:
Showcasing Women in STEM through Virtual Field Trips – Discovery Education VFT Archive
Discovery Education is extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with and showcase some of the most inspiring women leaders in our nation. Throughout the last few years, leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency, 3M, Velocity Channel, Discovery Channel, and countless others have taken part in direct to classroom virtual field trips. Experiencing, or re-experiencing, some of these amazing moments is a great way to highlight women in STEM this month. Ask your students, “What do all these women have in common?” Create a bulletin board in your room or in the hallway highlighting women leaders in STEM which your students find and connect with.
MORE STEM Content Connections:
Science Channel – Science Super Heroes: March Science Super Heroes
In celebration of Science Channel’s 20th Anniversary, they have launched Science Super Heroes, crowning individuals each month who have used science to make a difference in their community. Science Channel knows science is everywhere and used every day as it’s in the DNA for progress and possibility. Science Super Heroes was developed to help ignite a passion for science and encouraging the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, and game changers.
Discovery Education / 3M Young Scientist Challenge: Young Scientist Lab
The 2017 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC) has opened for entries and is looking for the most innovative thinker in America. Girls have 50% of the time including the past 2 years! Check out some of the young female innovators and learn about the process here: Application Process. Meet the past YSC young female winners:
National Women’s History Project: Writing Women Back into History
This month the project is honoring women in labor and business as these honorees proved that women could succeed in every and any field. While each honoree is extraordinary, each is also ordinary in her own way, proving that women business and labor leaders can and should be considered the norm. Not only did these women create change, they also paved the pathway for leaders today and tomorrow.
USA Science and Engineering Festival: Role Models in STEM Achievement
Don’t know where to start when looking for everyday role models in STEM? Here is a great link with a focus on women and minorities of Black, Native American, Hispanic and Asian origin who made an incredible impact on the world around them. Also, check out our Every Day STEM Hero – STEM Strategies that Work strategy to use in your classroom.
Discovery Education Resources:
Multi-modal K-12 resources, Discovery Education Blog / #CelebrateWithDE
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8 and Women’s History Month, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women through the lens of language and authorship. These Discovery Education resources celebrate the female voice and perspective while examining the significant contributions of women to the progressive use of language, groundbreaking new thoughts, ideas, and genres, and promoting social change and activism.
Multi-modal K-12 resources, Discovery Education Content Collection
Stand with women leaders throughout history. Today, women work in all jobs and hold important positions in companies and government, but women have worked hard to achieve this. Get to know some trailblazing women who changed history by helping others, fighting for equality, and gaining powerful political positions.
Video, Grades 6-8 & 9-12, Discovery Education Streaming Plus
STEMtastic new video which highlights and depicts the life of the influential environmentalist, Rachel Carson, and demonstrates the impact she had on ecology, biology, conservation, and environmentalism. The program also shows how Rachel Carson inspired Rachel Johnson, a fish ecologist who works to preserve the salmon habitat in the American River in California.
STEM Career Challenge:
“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
STEM Career Challenges are developed to engage students in content tied to STEM career pathways often overlooked. Connecting student passions to their individual futures helps capture student interest in learning. STEM Career Challenges have been developed to allow flexibility and customization for each teacher, school, and district based on your own standards and curriculums.
This month, we look at a career often overlooked, but critical to STEM though it doesn’t require a degree in a STEM field. Pose the challenge of a Technical Writer to your students and have them use critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem solving to develop directions as they deconstruct an item working truly with backwards thinking.
Technical Writer STEM Career Challenge – Click here
Submit a STEM Career and Challenge important to your own local community for us to share with the Discovery Community! To submit your idea: STEM Career Submission
Extend Student Learning with Discovery Education Resources:
- Visit Ikea.com and select any furniture item and open the assembly instructions (Ex: http://bit.ly/2lAxVTq). Use your inferencing and critical thinking skills to write the technical instructions that should accompany the pictures.
- Make a how-to video for a non-digital native on a technology tool. Use Discovery Education’s Board Builder to organize your own videos and instructions for others to use.
- Teacher background e-book: A Teacher’s Guide to Technical Writing by Dr. Steven M. Gerson http://bit.ly/2lZAL0w.
Join the DE STEM Team live on March 14th, 2017 @ 7:00pm (ET) as we highlight STEM Strategies that Work. STEM teacher leaders will share STEM strategies they utilize in their classroom that all educators can replicate to help develop a STEM culture. The DE STEM Team will also be live for “Open Office Hours” to answer questions, share ideas, and continue the conversation around STEM implementation and culture.
Join the DE STEM Team for our monthly STEM Chat! We facilitate rich conversation between our guest host and STEMthusiasts from all over! How do I participate in a #DESTEMChat? Click here
This month we feature Kavita Shukla, @KavitaFresh as we talk about how through STEM and innovation our students can truly change the world! March 29th, 2017 with #DESTEMChat on Twitter!