As most of us are aware, there is a significant gender gap in the STEM fields. For the last 15 years, there has been no female employment growth documents in the STEM fields–and that is significant when you consider how many different jobs and specialties fall under that umbrella. The lack of female role models and the clear, if subconscious, message to girls is that the STEM fields simply are not a place for them.
Why has this gap come to be? While there are many factors that contribute, many call attention to the fact that once subjects separate in middle school, STEM subjects are more likely to be taught by men. Young girls simply do not get the chance to see someone of their own gender modeling the skills of the trade as often as boys do.
So if you are looking to tackle some of the issues getting in between girls and STEM education, female led classes is a good place to start.
Digital Media Academy offers camps for programming for girls in Toronto. These camps are for girls ages 12-17–the age when you can make the greatest impact with their STEM education–and last one week. Each session is led by female computer programmers who are working successfully within the field, showing their young students that they can achieve not only within the classroom, but within the working world.
But there are other ways you can encourage girls in their STEM education. Starting from when they are young, there are choices you can make. For example, diversifying her toys. Many toys marketed towards boys subtly teach concepts related to physics and engineering. Toys marketed towards girls, however, tend to focus more on domestic roles and caregiving.
You can also seek out role models beyond the classroom. This may mean spending time with women in your life who work in STEM fields. It could also mean looking at women who worked in these fields historically. Both you and your daughter might be surprised to learn that computer programming was once a female-dominated field.
If you are interested in enrolling your daughter in STEM camps, including programming for girls in Toronto, visit DigitalMediaAcademy.org.