One of the challenges facing our nation today is the glaring gap in gender representation in STEM-related careers. This is even more acute when you consider the tech ecosystem, where it seems there’s an unwritten rule that this is a male world, girls keep out.
Has it always been like this? Data retrieved from catalyst.org show that in Canada between 2013-2014 women who enrolled in post-secondary school institutions to study STEM-related courses accounted for 25.45% of all enrollment. During the same time in review, women accounted for 24.2% of computer and information systems professionals, and only a 27% of women graduates with a STEM degree were working in a STEM-intensive occupation in Canada.
The data is abysmal and shows that much still needs to be done to encourage girls to develop interests in STEM and subsequently take on careers in those fields.
Our goal at Girls STEM is to catch these girls young and introduce them to STEM through fun activities and summer camps. Our courses are designed to offer exciting hands-on learning projects that will empower girls to creatively express themselves and develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) fields.
Each class they will engage in challenges that introduce girls to solving problems by building moving inventions, learning to code and program robots, conducting experiments, creating interactive artwork with electronics, and more! Girls will present their projects and process at the end of the course, providing a rich experience in leadership.
It has be said in many places that there are not enough visible role models these girls can look to and be inspired to pursue the same career paths. Boys may need heroes, but our girls need heroines!
If our girls and young women can see what others have achieved before them, how women now and in the past contributed to changing the world, they can get inspired to pursue a STEM career.
Stimulating and sustaining the interest of girls and young women in STEM is a task everyone from parents to teachers and everyone in between should take on. This can easily be achieved with constant affirmation that girls are capable of doing whatever they set their minds to, including excelling in STEM careers.
This is what we aim to achieve with our courses, exposing girls to career paths available in STEM while at the same time guiding them to discover fun stuff and how they will be contributing to making the world a better place through their works.