How Do You Develop More Female Engineers?

01/24/2015

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1
  • Not enough American students want to be engineers, mathematicians, or scientists.
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  • The Obama administration wants to change that.
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  • They are spending money to do it.
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  • The government will invest three billion dollars in the education of young Americans in science, technology, engineering, and math.
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  • The four areas together are known as STEM.
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  • Many jobs in the STEM fields will open in the coming years.
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  • The U.S. government's investment aims to increase the number of Americans who can take those jobs.
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  • Yet girls appear far less interested in STEM subjects than boys.
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  • Only 25 percent of STEM students are girls.
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  • Camsie McAdams is at the U.S. Education Department.
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  • She says girls simply do not feel welcomed in STEM subjects.
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  • Ms. McAdams says young women look at industries such as engineering and computer science and see most of the leaders are men.
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  • "We, as women, want to have people that look like us, people that we can relate to.
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  • A lot of times what distracts people from entering the field,
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  • or, even when they get the degree, keeps them from wanting to work in the field, is because they don't feel welcomed."
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  • Debbie Sterling is an engineer.
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  • She invented a construction toy for girls.
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  • The name of the toy is "Goldie Blox."
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  • Ms. Sterling hopes Goldie Blox will help girls develop spatial skills.
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  • Spatial skills help engineers and builders to think about objects in three dimensions.
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  • To interest girls, Sterling created the character "Goldie."
  • 22
  • Goldie does not care about beauty or clothes.
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  • Goldie tells stories, solves difficult problems and creates pretend worlds.
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  • Mia is a seven-year-old girl who likes science.
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  • In her room, she has no fashion dolls.
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  • Instead, she has a pegboard, wheels, blocks and an inventor's journal to write her observations.
  • 27
  • Mia received a set of Goldie Blox from her grandmother.
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  • She learned to make a machine with the blocks.
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  • "When my grandmother first sent me the present, a spinning machine, I was really excited.
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  • I knew it had to do with engineering, so I grabbed the box and opened it.
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  • Then I went for more -- I went to the web site; I went on YouTube to find more videos.
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  • My mom asked me why I was just watching videos instead of building.
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  • I told her I didn't have enough pieces.
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  • She got me the builder survival kit."
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  • Experts say parents should do more than just buy toys to interest their girls in STEM subjects.
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  • They should also provide a good education.
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  • At school, girls should participate in projects that require teamwork and creative thinking.
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  • Women in scientific and technical jobs are also working to encourage young women to explore STEM.
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  • One is Anu Tewary. She studied Applied Physics and worked for technology companies.
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  • After she had a daughter, she started Technovation Challenge.
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  • The challenge is an international competition for young women from 10 to 18 years old.
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  • Technovation offers girls the opportunity to learn how to start a company and become high-tech entrepreneurs.
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  • Since 2009, over 2,500 girls from 28 countries have developed 650 mobile phone applications.
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  • They learned