What is STEM? STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and maths. It encompasses a huge range of disciplines related to the topics above.
STEM education is an approach to teaching that combines science, technology, engineering and maths with a big emphasis on technology connecting traditional learning in the classroom with creative real world problem solving.
Why study a STEM subject?
STEM subjects are wonderfully creative, exciting and inspirational! They open the door to a huge variety of career options with endless opportunities.
Examples of STEM subjects
Women in STEM
Historically STEM subjects are male dominated. A recent study into gender bias in STEM showed that in the UK only 10% of engineering professionals are women and around the world only 30% of researchers are women!
How can we encourage girls to pursue a STEM career?
Ditch the stereotype
It’s easy to almost push a stereotype at home without really meaning to. Don’t assume that a girl won’t enjoy maths or science as much as a boy. We need give girls the same opportunities as boys from a young age. Give the gift of engineering or science kits to girls and boys. Everyone should be excited about STEM!
Celebrate women in STEM
We often hear more about male scientists than female scientists, but there are many, many wonderful female STEM role models who can be celebrated and looked up to. Start with some of my wonderful women in STEM fact files.
Encourage problem solving and creative thinking
Construction toys such as LEGO are great for developing problem solving and analytical skills from an early age.
Craft activities are brilliant for encouraging creative thinking especially if a challenge is set, such as designing an umbrella or a waterproof shelter.
Board games are a fun way to develop analytical thinking and collaborative games are good for learning how to work as a team.
If you have a child interested in coding Scratch is a great place to start.
Simple STEM challenges are perfect for developing problem solving skills and learning how to work as part of a team.
Search for special opportunities
Universities and large STEM related companies often run holiday courses and workshops specifically aimed at girls. It’s worth searching and applying early though as spaces get filled quickly!
Careers in STEM
Studying a STEM subject opens the door to a huge range of future careers. Including the traditional doctor to space scientists, marine biologists, teacher, chemical engineer, fashion designer and so much more!
Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Emma Vanstone