How can we help encourage girls to choose STEM careers? Collaborative, project-based, hands-on learning, as well as the development of growth mindsets for all students, is essential to generate and sustain girls’ interest in STEM. In recent years, we have been plagued by statistics that confirm a gender gap in STEM. But even as the world is waking up to the stark reality of the gender divide in STEM careers, the field is still experiencing a global shortage of qualified candidates. The obvious solution to this shortage is the elimination of the gender gap—more women in STEM will create a more equal balance of genders while at the same time filling up open positions. But this solution is more complicated than it seems. How can we help encourage girls to choose STEM careers? According to Palmieri (2014), “Engaging girls in STEM at an early age is essential to closing the gender divide, particularly in more technical areas of STEM, such as engineering and computer science.” In order to engage girls in STEM at an early age, we need to understand how girls learn and build their self-esteem; this understanding can help us change the ways STEM is taught to make it more exciting for girls. Multiple research studies have shown that girls show more engagement in science when learning is collaborative and project-based; girls are “relational [...]
We have heard from many parents that this winter feels infinite. So here is something to keep little hands and minds busy. This free Snow Day Worksheet has fun activities that you can do at home. You can even add on to this printable by doing Mary Beetle's Cookie Challenge - see if you can double or triple the recipe and have enough cookies for everybugy. We know that snow and ice days can be taxing on even the most creative parents so join our Prime Nuber Club and get access to worksheets, printables, and coloring sheets so that when you hear, "I'm bored" you can say let's have fun and do this STEM activity. Get more resources by joining The Prime Number Club™ and remember to check out The Buzz to learn about careers in STEM, why STEM is important and ways to improve your child's STEMesteem!
Parents and teachers, we know that you have a ton of work on your plate. Let us help you press the "easy button" and support STEM in the classroom. We want you to share your love of STEM and Beetle my Valentine. We created two new, free downloads for you to make Valentine's Day easy. Simply download, print, and cut the cards and voilà - project done! Kids can add their name on the front and a note or drawing on the back. We even found some fun STEM puns and poems to make your day STEMtastic - The Entomological Society of America has some fun insect limericks that are worth the buzz. Below are the winners of their Limerick Contest! See if you can make up your own Insect Limerick and have fun! Theodore Sumnicht, University of Arkansas Miss Mantis heard spring’s ultimatum So on thistle, her eggs, she did lay them But she found them enticing As they started ecdysing And ever so lovingly ate them Richard W. Beeman, USDA-ARS A highly fastidious bot Grew unwell from immersion in rot. To savor fresh greens Was the stuff of his dreams, But to slog through raw flesh was his lot. Martha Lutz, Bluegrass Community CollegeA firefly who was benighted saw a light and became so excited-- he rushed to his fate while selecting a mate: lost his head, lost his [...]
STEM Jobs That Require a College Degree Over the last decade, STEM occupations have grown at a much faster pace than non-STEM occupations (24.4 percent compared to only 4.0, respectively). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 projections, employment in certain STEM occupations is projected to increase by 2026. Despite such growth, women remain underrepresented in engineering (14 percent), computer (25 percent) and physical science (39 percent) occupations. The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) reports that a mere 23 percent of employees in STEM fields are women. Physician Assistant - Physician assistants practice medicine working alongside doctors/physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers. They diagnose and treat patients. They work in physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Median annual wage: $104,860. Education: Aspiring candidates need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. All states require physician assistants to be licensed. Projected increase in employment: 37.3 percent. Statistician Statisticians analyze data and apply statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in engineering, business, healthcare and other fields. Median annual salary: $84,060. Education: Master’s degree in statistics is required but some positions may only require a bachelor’s. Projected increase in employment: 33.8 percent. Software Developer - Software developers develop the applications that allow users to do tasks on the computers or other devices. Median annual salary: $101,790. Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science is required along [...]
Off-Kilta Matilda at Educator STEM Fest Sometime you don't realize how much STEM is in KC! We found our tribe at Union Station last month and met amazing teachers and resources for STEM. Did you know that resouces like the KC STEM Alliance have the ecosystem covered if you need any help. Off-Kilta Matilda had a blast at the Educator STEM Fest at Union Station on September 23. She got to explore all the cool booths, where educators demonstrated things like indoor gardening, robotics, mad science, computer coding and math. Here’s Off-Kilta Matilda at the Federal Reserve booth. She took a quick selfie with a bag of money. She also learned how money was made and even got to count some bills and coins. See the stack of money in the photo behind Off-Kilta Matilda? The Federal Reserve handles money like that and more! At the SEA LIFE booth, Off-Kilta Malita couldn’t help it. She jumped in the pool with the sea animals, and played with some fish, a turtle, a starfish, and even a whale! They all welcomed her even though she doesn’t live in the ocean. After she was done playing in the pool, Off-Kila Matilda headed over to the Flint STEM Camp booth. Max, the owner of Flint STEM Camp, said that every year he hosts summer camps to teach kids about science, technology, engineering, [...]
It’s a common misconception that a four-year college degree is a requirement when applying for high-paying jobs, especially in STEM fields. But with ever-increasing college tuition rates and student debt on the rise— the average student debt is at $37,172, an increase of $20,000 since 20051—many people are thinking twice before making the leap. Although associate’s degrees are sometimes considered less valuable than bachelor’s degrees, times are changing. As more states keep track of graduates’ income, it is becoming clear that a two-year associate’s degree from a technical college can provide higher earnings than a four-year college degree—and at a much lower cost.2 Here are some STEM careers you should consider that don’t require a bachelor’s degree: Nuclear Technician Nuclear technicians work with physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production.3 They work at nuclear power plants in offices and control rooms, where they monitor and help operate nuclear reactors with the help of computers and other equipment. Median annual wage (2017): $80,370. Education: Associate’s degree in nuclear science or nuclear-related technology (may involve moderate on-the-job training). Radiation Therapist Radiation therapists administer radiation to patients under the instruction of oncologists and radiologists, locate tumors, measure the amount of radiation given to patients, and update treatment reports.4 Median annual wage (2017): $80,570. Education: Associate’s degree or a certification in radiation therapy. Projected increase [...]
Have fun in the backyard with this fun Scavenger Hunt! Download the form here!
According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, although women constitute half of the total US college-educated workforce, they make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering fields.1 Additionally, research by the National Science Board shows that there will be workforce shortages in jobs that require mathematical, scientific, and technical skills.2 This means that unless these impending shortages are addressed, the US may not be able to continue to be an international leader in scientific and technological fields. Some experts have also predicted there will be rise in employment opportunities, especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector, where openings will increase by more than 50 percent.3 Hence, there is need for a workforce adept in the STEM fields. Yet another report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on The Future of Jobs has revealed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (characterized by a fusion of technologies that blends the physical, digital, and biological) will create future workplace shortages, which will in turn undoubtedly impact women’s employment prospects. It will also create disruptions in labor markets, as well as changes in business models across all industries.4 In this new market, some jobs will become redundant while others will see changes in the skills required, and still others will witness talent shortages owing to technological as well as sociopolitical and demographic changes. This news may [...]
We had fun making a volcano in our backyard! Here is a short clip we put together to show you how to do it too. We did this with the help of middle school kids—they got to make a volcano and make a video on how to make a volcano. We can integrate learning into many of our summer activities—STEM is in! To make your own volcano, you will need a few supplies: Soda bottle (16 or 20 oz.) 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 cup vinegar Red food coloring If you want to add bubbles to your volcano, just add a bit of dish soap to the mix! We went a bit crazy and used everything from moss to rocks to decorate our volcano—you can do as little or as much as you want. Experiment Place the bottle in the middle of a flat surface. You can use a table, driveway, or patio. Put found materials around the bottle to make it look more like a real volcano or mountain. We used cardboard and tape and covered that with grass and moss. You can use dirt, rocks, and flowers—get creative! Pour the baking soda into the bottle. Add the red food coloring to the vinegar. Pour the vinegar into the bottle—we used a funnel to make sure it got in without making a [...]
Summer is here. We are time-starved, running from camp to camp and trying to keep a work-life balance (whatever that is). How should we engage our kids and keep their brains active and learning during summer? We reviewed the research on "summer learning loss" that summer vacation or the summer slide” has led to achievement gaps in our schools. Summer learning loss happens when students return to school. Many will start the academic year at achievement levels lower than the levels they were at at the beginning of summer vacation. This especially affects those from economically disadvantaged groups. There is a rising education inequality among kids. Kids living in underserved areas often go to under-resourced schools and often have limited access to quality afterschool programs and summer programs. And even if afterschool and summer programs exist, often financial constraints make it hard to access these experiences. It seems like common sense, but research also has illustrated that low-income families have less time and resources to devote to children's after-school enrichment programs and activities as well as summer enrichment programs like camps, music lessons, sports activities and other pay-to-play events. Long work hours and shift work also make it difficult for parents to spend dedicated time engaging in their children’s learning and development. On the other hand, well-to-do families spend close to seven times more money on afterschool enrichment programs than [...]