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Growing Up Female in a Technical World

Science is always changing and it is fascinating. Growing up female in a technical world is inevitable; thus, there is now a focus on girls and their interest in more math and science related fields. There has been a subtle question posed to parents that asks, “How can we keep girls interested in math and science?” As many of us are aware, children learn through play. They learn from reading and from the examples of others. While some people in the past automatically accepted the premise that boy are naturally hard-wired to be better at math than girls, real case studies and tests worldwide has disproved this myth. In the article “Are Boys Really More Hard-Wired For Math than Girls” Dr. RD suggests that boys being good at math probably has more to do with nurture rather than with nature.

  1. Robot girlAre we equipping our girls with the skills they need to succeed in math?
  2. Are we providing them with toys, which cultivate their interest in math, engineering, and science?
  3. Are we praising their efforts as they learn?
  4. Are we teaching them math and science as their interests are first developed?
  5. Are we giving them the confidence they need to believe that they can be scientists, zoologist, geologist, neuroscientists, aerospace engineers, programmers, astronauts, inventors etc.
  6. Are our daughters assigned mentors to help develop their skills and show them professions in math and science related fields?
  7. Are our daughter encouraged to fall in love with learning and read books that challenge their technical and analytical thinking?
  8. Are classes in our daughters’ schools giving them the one-on-one interaction that our daughters may need to see well beyond academics in science and math and see careers that expand their mind and challenge their intellectual capabilities?
  9. Are we supporting the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in our schools and making sure that they are providing our children with the necessary tools they need to excel in these areas?
  10. Are we going beyond the classroom and giving our children external learning lessons in museums, libraries, educational centers, corporations, etc that have programs geared towards STEM enhancement?

We may not be able to answer ‘Yes’ to all 10 questions, but the ball is in our court as parents, it is up to use to help our children achieve their dreams and it up to us to help them learn how to dream bigger as they fulfill each goal.

Even if our children are young, we can take a lesson from the article shared by Matt McFarland who shared the childhood toys that inspired female engineers and scientists and buy our children toys that foster growth and development such as pattern blocks, legos, computers etc.

Here is a list of 2013’s top toys that help build STEM skills.

Reader Response: How are you helping a young female in your life develop her STEM talents?

If you are passionate about this topic, please consider attending the Black Girls Code Holiday Meet Up and Fundraiser Dec 19, 2013 or visit Blackgirlscode.com to learn more and submit your donation.

References

ED, MD. Are Boys Really More Hard-Wired For Math than Girls. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://brainblogger.com/author/mdknowledge/

McFarland, Matt. The childhood toys that inspired female engineers and scientists. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2013/12/09/the-childhood-toys-that-inspired-female-engineers-and-scientists/

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