Engaging students with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is more important today than ever before. There’s a large gap in today’s job market between the skills demanded by growing fields and the amount of potential workers that possess those skills. All of us at STEM Village aim to empower all youth to take a passion for STEM subjects and to continue building their skills for the future job market. However, we also recognize the growing gap between women and girls who choose to take on a STEM career. Read more about why girls need STEM and why STEM needs girls in this article by Today’s Parents.
Our team aims to find the best STEM resources available so we can bring them to the Technology, Math, Science, and Discovery sections of our STEM Village app. We celebrated International Women’s Day this week and are continuing to celebrate the power of women and girls for Women’s History month, by sharing our favourite Women in STEM education resources on social media. Here’s a list of our top 10 picks to empower girls in STEM!
- CanTEEN is our top pick for this list – this site has it all! Get your female students interested in Engineering and other STEM careers by spinning the Trivia Wheel, where students test their STEM knowledge and compare their interests to STEM careers that match. Students can also flip through the Do It Yourself Science section of the page and try out hundreds of experiments with everyday materials. The Click Spy School game allows girls to explore engineering through three missions. First, in the Biochemistry Lab students build and test a water filtration system. Next, students solve a security issue by building a special program in the Computer Lab. Finally, students learn all about networks as they build an international communications plan in the Communications Lab. Once a student learns about various STEM careers, they can explore the many resources on the site that connects them to opportunities to try it out!
- PBS Sci Girls is filled with STEM resources just for girls! Sci Girls’ goal is to change the way girls around the world view STEM subjects. This site has two major aspects that make it an awesome girls-in-STEM site. First, Sci Girls is a show that follows young, female future scientists as they investigate many STEM-related topics through personal inquiry. They work with mentors and other scientists to figure out the answer to a big question – but the girls are calling the shots! The second feature is the resources for educators section where you will find everything you need to teach STEM in a gender-equitable way. The methods have been tried and proven! PBS has so many resources – it only suits them to do girls and science well!
- GC3 (or Girls Creating Career Connections) is a site dedicated to empowering young girls to love STEM, ask questions, and experience the life of a real scientist. The site uses the strong power of storytelling to create connections between girls and STEM careers. Clicking through the various pages of the site will open up stories of middle school girls from different backgrounds who are experiencing STEM and inquiry first-hand. Watch as these girls try on a STEM career and share what they learned during the experience. You can watch videos, read profiles of women currently working in STEM, discover hundreds of careers, and play games that relate to STEM career concepts. Once the discovering begins, it’s hard to stop!
- Web Adventures (from Rice University) has in-depth, web-based games and mobile apps that allow students to immerse themselves in different STEM careers. One of the main features of these games is the self-exploratory nature of the adventure they choose – different choices truly create different experiences. A second feature that makes these games a top pick is their representation of women in STEM careers and the strong roles they portray. In Med Myst students have the opportunity to investigate a disease outbreak and try out the science behind epidemiology – first hand! Next, students can explore a career in medicine and pharmaceuticals by running a Virtual Clinical Trial. Students can even dive into the science involved in investigating a crime scene by playing Reconstructors! My favourite game on this site, for students, is the Cool Science Careers game, where students investigate their passions, choose a career path, and find out what it’s like through various activities. It’s a truly fun way to explore!
- Made With Code is a great site to introduce code to students at any level. First, your students can explore all of the different projects they have to offer – they’re also fun for teachers and parents to try! Once they have selected a project, the students are instructed, step-by-step, to make various choices and construct the proper code that gives them their desired outcome. The projects are geared toward girls, but the site is great for any young coder. Students can design an LED dress; mix up their favourite genre of music; accessorize their own selfies; animate their own GIF; and even program a robot with a green thumb. All-in-all there’s lots to do to learn the basic structure of code and how it works!
- MakerBot Customizer (part of Thingiverse) is a great site to explore and try out 3D printing for the first time. Thingiverse is a community of 3D artists where you can create, upload, and share your own 3D design. Thingiverse has become a library of things that can be printed out in an instant. The MakerBot Customizer app allows its users to search through thousands of 3D objects, and then easily customize it to fit their size or particular need. Students can find anything from jewelry and cell phone cases to bowls, to toys and signs. After the object is customized, it can be printed out anywhere you can access a 3D printer. Before you know it, you will have a class full of makers!
- L’Oreal’s For Girls in Science has a great selection of profiles for girls to explore careers in STEM. The front page of the site allows girls to select a woman “STEMist” profile and read all about their career and their personal stories of how they found their path to STEM. The site is also filled with resources for girls to learn more about STEM careers like classes to take, degrees to pursuit, and more facts about getting the STEM career your student is aiming for!
- The National Girls Collaborative Project is the place to go for collaborative research; case studies of Girls in STEM programs; webinars from talks and conferences; and education resources for assessing and evaluating your own programs. This site is for teachers and they have everything you need to collaborate and create an equitable STEM program at your own school. They also include a database of STEM programs for parents and teachers.
- Engineer Girl focuses on the “E” in “STEM” – and they do it very well! This engaging site clearly shares information about engineering through interviews with women engineers who work in a wide variety of different fields. Throughout the site, students begin to understand that engineering is a powerful degree that can take them in a million different directions. The site also has a section where students can try on a career and explore the life of different engineers and specific topics related to that field. Finally, the site helps lay out a clear path to achieving an engineering goal. This section doesn’t only tell students what to do but invites them to participate in contests, engineering quizzes, and mentor programs.
- Generating Girls’ Opportunities is the place to go for fun articles and games for students, and informative resources for parents and educators. The section for students has activities that alternate between Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math resources – right now, the section is all about encouraging math skills! There are games, sites to explore, videos to watch, profiles to read, and even a T-Shirt design competition. Resources for educators include a list of sites to explore to improve your own programs. Resources for parents include ways to engage children at home. The site is constantly changing and there’s something new to explore for everyone!
Our Content Development Team aims to track the best STEM education resources available so we can provide them to your child or student in the most engaging way possible. There are many resources that we include on STEM Village, and we will continue to share lists of our favourite resources on our blog. Please take this time to sing-up, for free, at STEM Village to access a world of STEM. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to be part of the STEM conversation and stay updated on what’s happening at STEM Village!
This article was written by Erin Carmody, an experienced educator, education consultant, and Content Manager at STEM Village.