For a large number of people, the words, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are more a man’s realm, than a woman’s. There is a stereotype that has been propounded that girls are not good at these subjects. That’s why it’s all the more vital today to bring STEM skills to girls. There are many reasons for this thought process.
- Technology is ubiquitous- we live in a world dominated by science and technology. In order to be a citizen and a useful contributor to the world, girls must know about technology and ways in which to use it.
- Wide range of opportunities- the nature of technology is that it constantly changes and evolves. This gives rise to new work and learning opportunities all the time. Girls need to be at the forefront of this change.
- Economic independence- women need to have economic independence, to not be dependent on anyone else- spouse, parent, sibling to help them. Since the world is dominated by STEM, skills in these areas are vital.
- Shattering stereotypes- the old tale of girls not being good at maths, needs to go. There’s no better way to do it than to get girls to excel in technology and related subjects. Gender bias is seen in every sphere of life, and it’s up to girls- and women- to help shatter those biases.
- Pay parity- teach children the importance of equality and being treated fairly. STEM jobs are among the highest paid across industries. Girls need to know that they should be paid equal and more, not less than men.
- Fun learning- There are apps like Codynamic which is a game for kids and their parents where they play STEM related games together. It helps girls to develop creativity and tech related skills which will help them throughout their life. Additionally solving math problems with an abacus or a simple method, taking trips to museums, trekking amidst nature and understanding the creations of animals and other beings- everything is instrumental in creating a sense of wonder and joy in girls. This enables them to look at subjects as a way to combine fun and learning. When learning is fun, the learning never ends.
- New world, new issues- with this changing world come all sorts of issues. One of the most serious? Climate change. We need different ways to solve it, and the solutions lie in the realm of technology. What’s more, team effort is the way to go and so much of STEM work is about working with a lot of different people. Collaboration is the key to saving humanity.
- Life skills- collaboration and cooperation are not the only life skills girls can learn through STEM. Critical thinking, solving problems, following a logical point of view, being able to see an issue for what it is and then dissecting possible ways out are only some of the skills this area teaches. The ability to stay focussed, determined, and applying what is learnt to real life, real time situations, the confidence needed to stay put and solve something challenging are other skills that will always prove to be handy. Thus, STEM is life education and not just bookish education.
Thus, teaching girls STEM is a way of ensuring that the future of the planet and its inhabitants is in safe hands.