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Mar 21, 2017 12:49 PM EDT

STEM In Washington University: Making 500 Girls Learn More Through An Event

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The common misconception that boys are better than girls at science is not true. The indirect and subtle messages from many people around are one of the reasons why many girls lose their confidence in their abilities and knowledge, and this result in the huge gender gap in STEM, or the fields in science, technology, engineering and math.

Victoria May, executive director of the Institute for School Partnership (ISP) at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in STEM education, said that girls at their middle school start to believe that these subjects are too difficult, according to The Source. And they are the ones in the losing end because STEM jobs are actually rewarding and well paying. Even the society also loses for missing out on talented generation composed of resilient and creative problem-solvers.

And in order to encourage more girls in the STEM fields, Washington University and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, conducted an event for 500 seventh-grade girls from across the state last March 15. The student have learned more about STEM and STEM careers in healthcare, business and non profit organizations. They also have learned more about what it is like to be a college student in a campus, and also listened to a speech from Rising Tycoons CEO Olenka Cullinan. They also participated in various STEM workshops.

Barbara Schaal, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and an acclaimed scientist, told the girls that there are just so many things that that they can do in STEM. And that it does not mean that they will only have to be limited to being a professor or being a scientist in a laboratory. She shared that some of her students have gone into the industry, some have become entrepreneurs, have worked in the fields of education, NGOs, etc. She emphasized that STEM education is, in fact, the door to a vast range options and opportunities.

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