WHAT WE DO
Building a STEM Pipeline for Girls and Women
Our society tells girls and women that they don’t belong in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. As early as first grade, children have already developed a sense of gender identity, and most have developed unconscious bias associating boys with math. Toys still reinforce rigid, highly gendered stereotypes that encourage only boys to build or engineer. And even kids’ clothing still proclaims that girls are bad at math.
At almost every step of the STEM education ladder, we see girls walk away. By seventh grade, many girls are ambivalent about these fields, and by the end of high school, fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM in college. Especially in engineering, physics, and computing, female college students are likely to be outnumbered by men in their programs. With some important exceptions, schools dedicate few resources to recruiting and retaining students in fields that are non-traditional for their gender. Women who do graduate with a STEM degree enter a workforce that is historically unfriendly to them. And once they get there, stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of academic departments and workplaces continue to block women’s participation and progress.
But the low number of women and girls pursuing STEM fields is not a status quo we can live with. It has significant implications for women’s financial security, economic growth, and global innovation.
AAUW is committed to encouraging women and girls to pursue STEM, and we have a multi-pronged approach to make it happen here at the Fremont Branch.
The Fremont Branch sponsors seventh grade girls from the Tri-City area to attend Tech Trek each year. Girls are recommended by their Math and Science teachers and are selected through a rigorous application and interview process. The selected girls attend a one week residential camp at Camp Curie at the Stanford University Campus. For more information on Camp Curie visit http://techtrek-stanfordmc.aauw.net
The Tech Trek scholarships, at $1000 per participant, are funded by the branch through donations from our members, supporters and local businesses that value the importance of gender equity in STEM. For more information on these scholarships in the Tri-city area, or to make a donation, contact email@example.com.
Mother/Daughter STEM Discovery Day
Since 1991 the Fremont Branch has sponsored STEM Discovery Day, a morning of fun and learning for girls in 3rd to 6th Grades and their mothers or other female adult role models. The program focuses on encouraging young girls to be excited about STEM through a series of hands-on STEM activities presented by professional women and alumnae of our Tech Trek program. The program also encourages families to reinforce the girls’ interest in STEM. We are proud of our returning mother/daughter pairs who attend the program from 3rd Grade through 6th Grade. The morning starts with a visit to the Planetarium followed by four, 45 minute activities that they select from eight activities offered. Activities include Brain Teasers, Mad Science, Robotics, 3D Printing, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering.
Mothers enjoy spending the morning with their daughters, and our Tech Trek alumnae have the opportunity to further explore and sustain their interest in STEM through high school while being a role model for the younger girls coming up the pipeline.
STEM Discovery Day 2017-2018 schedule:
5th and 6th Graders: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 : See and Read what they did and said
3rd and 4th Graders: Saturday February 24th, 2018 : See and Read what they did and said
Pathways to STEM
Expanding our STEM pipeline to 6th, 7th and 8th Graders:
An interactive panel Discussion Saturday Feb 24, 2018: See and Read what they did and said
For further information and registration details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org