Help Girls Excel in Math and Science
Although the achievement gap is beginning to close, girls across the nation are still falling behind in math and science. Boys and girls tend to share the same level of interest and proficiency in science and math until they hit middle school. Around age 13, girls start losing interest and are outperformed by their male peers. Across the board, females score lower than males on SAT math and science tests and AP exams. Once they get to college, females are far less likely to major in subjects such as engineering and computer science.
These girls lose interest in math and science because they are not given the same opportunities as the boys in their classes. Young men are presented with science kits, building blocks, and other experimental toys at a young age. Young women are given dolls, craft sets, and less-experimental toys. There are many images of male mathematicians and scientists in the media and in movies. However, few females are shown excelling in math and science.
Unfortunately, girls often face overt discrimination in the classroom. Many teachers and counselors set lower expectations for females in math and science classes. Math and science courses are often geared towards boys and teachers may ignore the needs of their female learners.
When girls fall behind in math and science, everyone suffers. Without these bright female minds working to cure diseases, create products, and explore the scientific world, we miss out on potential discoveries and inventions. It is essential that community members encourage girls to excel in math and science from a young age. With just a few minutes of your time, you can help.
I Did This!
Whether you're a parent, a teacher, or a concerned citizen, you can make a difference. Try one of these ideas:
Remember to always keep a positive attitude when talking to girls about math and science. With the support and encouragement of people like you, a whole new generation of female scientists and mathematicians will be empowered to help make the world a better place.
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