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Generation STEM from the GSRI Released

The Girl Scout Research Institute released an exciting new report, Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, on February 14, 2012. Generation STEM is a national research report investigating girls' perceptions of, attitudes toward, and interests in the subjects and general fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The study concludes that girls are interested in STEM and aspire to STEM careers, but they need further exposure to and education about what STEM careers can offer, and how STEM can help girls make a difference in the world.

Generation STEM was released nationally on Valentine's Day at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. Anna Maria Chávez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA, and Ellis Rubenstein, President & CEO, NY Academy of Sciences, introduced the study and opened the event. The event—Girls Love STEM—featured a panel of experts in science, industry, research, and media, as well as a Girl Scout from the New York metro area with a passion for STEM.

Key research findings were highlighted, including:

  • Seventy-four percent of girls nationwide are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math; girls like being creative, asking questions, and solving problems.
  • Eighty-one percent of STEM-interested girls are interested in pursuing a STEM career, but only 13 percent say a STEM career is their first choice.
  • Exposure to STEM activities and careers is low, and girls are aware of gender barriers in STEM career development and the workplace.
  • Girls interested in STEM are excellent students and high achievers, and have more STEM exposure and great adult support in pursuing STEM, compared to girls who are not interested in STEM.
  • Girls want to make a difference in the world, and they want to help people. Eighty-eight percent of all girls want a career that will help them make a difference in the world.

The panel discussion was inspiring. Erin Harding talked about her passion for robotics and interest in engineering as a lead member of the Icebreakers robotics team. She explained how tired she is of stereotypes that prevent girls from pursuing math and science; she wants to “bring the girliness to STEM.” Dr. Hoover connected her important work in pharmaceutical research to helping others, a relationship that girls typically don't recognize. Dr. Groome encouraged parents to get their daughters excited about science and math, and to “discover the answers together” when they hit a roadblock. Additionally, Anna Kuchment encouraged girls to look for internship opportunities with, for instance, science labs, with the aim of establishing mentor relationships.  

Check out GSRI's live blog for a rundown of Girls Love STEM!

Posted by News GSHS at 12:02 PM


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