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ACM TechNews

7 Ways to Get More Girls and Women Into STEM (and Encourage Them to Stay)

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Young women in a technology class.

A recent forum brought together industry and academic experts to consider how to get more girls interested in science and engineering and keep them engaged.


A recent forum of industry and academic experts offered proposals for encouraging girls and women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Eric Klopfer suggested incorporating the arts and humanities into STEM programs.

Children's author Andrea Beaty said stories also could be persuasive, especially to young children.

Christine Cunningham from Boston's Museum of Science suggested the engineering field could be made more appealing to girls by demonstrating "explicit connections" between engineering and "people, animals, the environment."

Meanwhile, Harvard Medical School's Joan Reede said people promoting a vision of more inclusive STEM should add race and ethnicity to the equation.

Including a STEM curriculum for girls' clubs such as the Girl Scouts will help provide mentors, while companies giving frontline female employees the reins to find solutions tend to benefit.

Finally, Katherine Newman of the University of Massachusetts recommended a "vector of persistence" in research teams, in which women reinforce each other's commitment.

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