In STEM fields, like in any professional area, diversity is important because it allows for unique views and new ideas or solutions to come forth.
Unfortunately, though, STEM fields tend to be heavily male dominated. Women account for less than 20% of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics, yet when today’s girls graduate from college, the U.S. will need 3 million more scientists and engineers, according to togetherthere.org.
What’s even more troubling is that girls DO like STEM and they are just as capable of succeeding in STEM as boys are! A study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that 74% of teen girls are interested in STEM fields and subjects. The study also found that 81% of girls are interested in pursuing a STEM career but only 13% say it is their first choice.
Some say this disconnect happens because many girls don’t have access to a female role mentor who works in a STEM field. Girls who know a woman working in science or technology are much more likely to pursue a career in that industry.
Additionally, many girls say they want to have a job that helps people, not realizing that many STEM jobs do indeed help people in enormous ways. In fact, scientific fields like medicine and engineering are all about helping people and solving the problems we face.
Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) is excited to be a part of the solution toward showing girls that they can have a future in a STEM career. To do this, we are hosting STEM-a-palooza, an event taking place May 3 at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Girls of all ages will enjoy hands-on activities with leading female scientists while having fun, learning, and exploring exciting STEM fields.
All girls are invited to this event. You don’t have to be a Girl Scout! The deadline to sign up is April 24. Register at gswny.org.
Volunteers are also needed for this event, especially women currently working in the STEM fields. Will you help GSWNY show the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technology experts that they can find a successful career in STEM? General volunteers are also needed. To sign up to volunteer or to ask questions about this event, email email@example.com or call 1-888-837-6410.
Ruth Harper-Rhode is the current Public Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of Western New York in the Rochester Service Center. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.