“We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators.”
— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
As noted in the video above, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM careers around the world. According to a United Nations study conducted in 14 countries, only 18% percent of science degrees earned are by women, compared with 37% by male students. “In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science” (United Nations, 2017).
While much progress has been made in recent years, much work remains to engage girls in STEM. Fortunately, the internet is a vast resource of STEM options for girls! From after-school programs to online communities to access to scholarships, there are plenty of sources to help girls of all ages get the support and inspiration they need to succeed in science and STEM.
To celebrate today’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Career In STEM has assembled a list of five top STEM programs for girls that can be found online:
1. SciGirls (http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/)
A subsidiary of PBS, SciGirls offers resources for boys and especially girls in fields such as Engineering, Health and Technology. The site has plenty of kid-friendly videos and activities to do, as well as role model profiles meant to encourage young girls to follow their dreams. There’s also a section focused entirely to Latina girls in STEM – talk about inspiring!
2. Techbridge Girls (http://www.techbridgegirls.org)
Techbridge Girls, like SciGirls, hopes to “provide training and resources for role models, teachers, families, school districts and partners to encourage and support girls in science, technology and engineering”. Not only does Techbridge offer after-school programs in California, Seattle and D.C., but they also have mini-PDF guides for anyone to download, inspiring videos of girls working in STEM and publications to read. An awesome resource, especially for those of you reading this from the west coast!
3. The National Center for Women and Information Technology (https://www.ncwit.org/resources/girls-it-facts)
NCWIT is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and girls in information technology. For adults looking to enter computing, NCWIT has programs and communities that give them “exclusive access to scholarships, internships and professional work”. For girls still in school, NCWIT also has programs that help girls from grades K-12 have the opportunity to get an education in computing, further encouraging women and girls to enter the field of IT. A great resource for every woman in the family.
4. Girl Scouts (http://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-stem.html)
Found in nearly every city in America, the Girl Scouts name is synonymous with quality enrichment programs for girls. “Recently refreshed to better reflect girls’ interests and to focus on twenty-first-century skills, several badge categories make special use of STEM activities”, including the naturalist badge, innovation badge, and many more. Backed by solid research and industry partners such as AT&T, National Science Foundation, and Ingersoll Rand, Girl Scouts offers many hands-on ways for girls to explore STEM both online and in person.
5. Carnegie STEM Girls (http://carnegiestemgirls.org/)
Our final program on the list, Carnegie STEM Girls, is a program that hopes to provide young girls with the tools and resources needed to pursue a career in STEM. The program’s resources range from book recommendations to at-home activities to a rather comprehensive list of possible STEM careers.
For more information and resources about the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, visit the UN’s comprehensive webpage here.
Know of an awesome online resource for girls in STEM? Share it by leaving a comment!