In 1984, 37% of all computer science graduates were women. Now, that number is 12%. We need more women in STEM-related fields.

CERES Satellite | New Scientist | http://www.newscientist.comAt BRICKS 4 KIDZ®, we are passionate about kids and education, but particularly STEM-related education. If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘STEM’ stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  It is important because so many of the world’s industries and careers rely increasingly on STEM-related roles. For kids to be best prepared for the jobs market they will encounter, they need to embrace technology and leverage its capabilities. It is our mission to work with students and the school systems here to get as many kids engaged in these topics as we usefully can.

So this article today in US News caught our eye: “Getting Girls to Study STEM: It’s About More Than Just Making Science ‘Cool’”.  It is an interview with Maria Klawe, the President of Harvey Mudd College in California, and discusses how she quadrupled the number of female computer science majors at her school.  The stat in the title of this post comes directly from the article.  Getting more women into STEM fields is critical, because diversity leads to better thinking and more innovation.

Maria makes a number of good points.  As a society we encourage people to “study what they love”, so if kids (and particularly girls) don’t develop an affinity with STEM concepts at a young age then it is unlikely that they will gravitate to engineering or computer sciences. Networking, mentoring and support are useful. It is important that kids embrace and engage with science and technology to develop an intellectual curiosity about these subjects.  There is good food for thought here for educators as well as families.

By the way – the image that heads this post is from New Scientist magazine’s Picture of the Day – if you haven’t seen their site, you can head over and check it out. This image is the of the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES), the first of five instruments ready to be to be installed onto the JPSS-1 Earth-monitoring satellite, part of a new network of environmental and weather forecasting satellites.  The glowing yellow cavity is a radiometric calibration chamber – it was a test to see if the satellite is ready to go.  Every day there is a cool new shot.  The photos are another great way to start conversations with kids.

 

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