Early Exposure To Computers and Robots Sparks STEM Interest Among Young Girls, UW Study Suggests [Video]By Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Many young girls have the notion that they are not good in science, math or computers. This is also the stereotype that has been existing from a long time ago, but a new study just proves it all wrong.
The new study conducted by the University of Washington reveals that providing exciting and fun STEM activities at school for young girls may boost their interest and confidence in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), Science Daily reported.
The research from the UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) has discovered that girls as young as six years old who have been exposed to computer programming activity show a much bigger interest when it comes to technology, according to King5. They were also able to show more positive attitude towards their own skills and abilities compared to other girls who did not try at all.
Allison Master, a research scientist at I-LABS and the study's lead author said that the finding of the study only implies that that there is both a need and opportunity for teaching computer science, most especially in elementary school. Master explained that people today live in a society where boys are the ones who are being pushed toward certain activities than girls. So what they did was to give young girls the same opportunities and activities to see if they will have the same response.
It turns out that girls indeed have exhibited the same level of interest and confidence as the boys who were liked STEM activities. Co-author and I-LABS co-director Andrew Meltzoff said that the most important thing is to make activities accessible to all children in such a way that they will find it more fun and at the same time, help them build the skills that they need.