The second publication is titled "Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math." And the results are surprisingly encouraging. A long standing problem has been that girls in general seem to lose interest in STEM fields "despite high achievement in academics and other career fields," so that women are underrepresented in STEM careers.
The study found that
- Seventy-four percent of high school girls across the country are interested in the fields and subjects of STEM.
- Girls are interested in the process of learning, asking questions, and problem solving.
- Girls want to help people and make a difference in the world.
- Girls who are interested in STEM are high achievers who have supportive adult networks
and are exposed to STEM fields.
- Girls who are interested in STEM fields are actually interested in many subjects and career
opportunities—STEM is just one area of interest among many.
For me, the take away message is that girls are ready for STEM fields, we just need to figure out how to engage them. Coincidentally, we have a record size class of interns this summer, and it looks like young women comprise at least 75% of the group.