A: Women earn a fraction of STEM degrees and represent an even smaller portion of the workforce in most STEM disciplines, including engineering, physics, and computer science. The disparity is not because females aren’t good at STEM! On average, females receive higher grades in school in every subject including high school math and science. Females earn more credits in math and science courses than boys, and female high school graduates have a higher combined GPA in math and science courses than boys. Despite these achievements, girls are not readily choosing many STEM college majors and career paths. They are more likely to secure degrees in the humanities and life and social sciences.
Consistent gender differences have emerged among children and adolescents in terms of their interest in math and science, their beliefs about their abilities in math and science, and their perceptions of the importance of math and science for their futures. Research suggests that girls are attentive to the behaviors of women in their culture and model those behaviors. Given this, girls’ attitudes regarding scientists and engineers have been influenced by the lack of female representation in the media. With an absence of role models, many girls tend to view science and technology as an unsuitable career choice and personally irrelevant to their lives.
Because social and environmental factors contribute to the underrepresentation of girls in STEM, intentional and focused intervention efforts targeting girls and women are recommended to address the gender gaps within STEM careers. Thus, our mission is to empower young women to be successful in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses in order to close the gender gap in STEM careers. We do this by providing interactive, engaging, and inspiring STEM camps for girls that:
- Increase young women’s confidence in science and math concepts and conducting scientific investigations.
- Increase young women’s academic performance in STEM courses.
- Increase young women’s passion in pursuing STEM majors and careers.