of the Sentinel Konah
STEM, also known as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a very male -dominated field. In fact only 24 percent of STEM jobs are held by women.
In the past women have only been able to be a housewife or hold jobs such as secretaries, but since those times there has been a drastic change in attitude in the United States. Even though the percentage is rising for women in STEM, there is still a ways to go.
“Girls will underestimate themselves because STEM is math based, so they believe they are not smart enough,” Maria Bray, teacher of Joy and Beauty of Computing said. “They are just seeing a dark room doing boring coding.”
It has been shown that around high school, girls start to lose interest in classes that involve science and mathematics.
Stanford professor Thomas Dee thought the reason girls lost interest in math and the science is that most teachers in the field are male and maybe girls feels more comfortable around a female teacher.
When he conducted a test relating to this, it was proven that the girls felt more comfortable learning from a female teacher.
“I personally never payed attention to this stuff,” science teacher Beth Rugh said. “Most of my teachers were male.”
However, Bray does see the professor’s side.
“It is a valid point,” she said. I finally started to learn more once I was taught from other women.” Math teacher Laurie Schneider feels Dee’s claim may be valid, but a teacher’s gender isn’t the only factor when it comes to learning. “There are teaching and learning styles that go into it too. It’s not always true because of how many factors there are when learning,” she said.
Because of this such teachers as Bray are hopeful to help influence the STEM program for girls and show that it is a fun program for them to go into to.
Bray said she’d like to “show more exciting courses to take and to help show them what they can do when building apps and computers.”
Women have been paving the way for other women for a while, trying to make jobs more accessible to all women within STEM and other fields.