Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science and Engineering Month is celebrated in the month of March. This month is all about helping young girls develop more interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) throughout their educational careers; honoring those who history has overlooked and encouraging equal pay; resource access to underrepresented populations; and diversity among marginalized groups. The Expanding Your Horizons Network, which runs a program that provides access and exposure to science and engineering that many students may not experience until college or even beyond, was responsible for organizing the event.
History of Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month
A recent study from U.S. FIRST followed students in the first 72 months after completing its programs. The results showed that STEM had a greater impact on women than on their male counterparts. The study also found that in the first three years of college, the percentage of female FIRST alumni taking engineering increased from 28% in year one to 35% in year three. By the third year of college, the gender gap in declared engineering majors closed, with 51% of female and 51% of male FIRST alumni majoring in that field.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (S.B.P.L.I.), has seen an increase in girls enrolling in its FIRST robotics programs. Girl Scout troops and all girls’ community groups formed teams in the FIRST LEGO League (F.L.L.) while in elementary school, and many of them continued to participate in FLL in middle school, FIRST Robotics Competition (F.R.C.), and the FIRST Tech Challenge (F.T.C.) in high school.
Over 100 Cedar Valley grade girls in fifth through eighth grade participated in EYH on October 4, 2014. Each girl participated in three interesting STEM sessions, most of which were led by women STEM professionals. Session activities included becoming a taste-tester, metal casting, programming robots, materials testing, and determining which metals different coins are made of. In the Interior & Textiles Design session, girls learned how CAD (computer-aided design) and Photoshop are used to ‘see’ and ‘walk in’ a space before it even exists. They used a program to help them design their own repeating pattern material as an example of the aesthetic side of design. They also discovered that material science is essential to ensure our designed spaces and apparel are safe.
Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month timeline
Lovelace writes the first computer program, though her accomplishments are only recognized many years later.
She receives numerous science awards in her lifetime and a host of honorary degrees in science, medicine, and law.
At John Glenn’s request, she verifies the calculations a computer had done for controlling the trajectory of his space capsule for an orbital mission.
She becomes the first American woman to go to space, and later, the first director of NASA’s Office of Exploration.
Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month FAQs
Why should more women join STEM?
Because it brings a diverse range of perspectives to research, helps narrow the gender pay gap, and enhances women’s economic security.
How many women are in STEM?
In 2019, 19.1 million workers age 25 and older were employed in STEM occupations in the U.S.
What scientific discoveries were made by women?
Fanny Gates discovered that radioactivity could not be destroyed by heat or ionization due to chemical reactions, and how radioactive materials differ from phosphorescent materials. Another one was Eunice Newton Foote, who was the first scientist to discover the connection between the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and climate change.
How to Observe Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month
Spread the word
Research about programs that offer scholarships and summer programs to get young girls interested in STEM. Tell the people at school about them and the teachers will probably tell their students about them. You can even find brochures online.
Mentor young women interested in STEM
If you are in the STEM field, and especially if you’re a woman, look into opportunities that guide young women interested in those careers. Again, you can start by asking the teachers at local schools.
Share the stories of important women in the STEM field
We’ve talked about some of them above, but there are even more great women that get less recognition. These stories can be very inspiring for young girls, even if they aren’t interested in STEM. An easy way of doing this is through movies, like Hidden Figures, about Katherine Johnson and the other black women who worked at NASA during the Space Race.
5 Interesting Facts About Women In STEM
In 2019, women represented 48% of all U.S. workers but only 27% are STEM workers.
The global state
About 30% of the world’s researchers are women.
In 2020, the number of women in STEM board positions rose by 18%.
Less than a third of female students choose to take higher education courses in subjects like math and engineering.
However, this is now changing
The number of women awarded STEM degrees every year has increased by over 50,000 in the past decade, and over 200,000 women graduated from STEM fields in 2016.
Why Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month is Important
Women are too underappreciated in STEM
Despite the significance of several of their achievements, few people are aware of their stories. You can use today as a reminder of all the amazing things they've accomplished.
Many young girls may not initially be interested in STEM because they just assume that it’s a man’s thing. But they may not realize that they don’t need to conform to these assumed gender roles. They can be whatever they want, but they won’t know this unless they’re exposed to what they really want.
It gives access to a higher education
The things taught in Expand Your Horizons go beyond what kids see in high school. Even if they don’t develop an interest in STEM, having more knowledge is always a good thing.
Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering Month dates