(StatePoint) The global challenges of the future will require kids today to have a strong STEM foundation. Unfortunately, girls are not always expected or encouraged to pursue these fields of study. Here are some great ways to boost girls’ interest in math and science:
• Celebrate female scientists: Throughout history, female scientists have helped change the world, although sometimes they did so behind the scenes, from Rosalind Franklin whose work -- though largely unrecognized at the time -- was critical in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, to doctor, engineer and NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. Highlighting the vital contributions female scientists have made can show young girls what is possible for themselves.
• Give them the right tools: Give girls the best chance of success in their high level math and science classes by equipping them with the latest tools. Graphing calculators that bring mathematics to life allow for a more comprehensive learning environment in any classroom. The fx-CG500 from Casio, for example, not only offers a high-resolution touchscreen LCD display with over 65,000 colors, but its expanded features and improved catalog function supports math exploration. Using quick commands and a wide range of features, students have the ability to easily draw three dimensional graphs, such as planes, cylinders and spheres, and view them from various angles, and a cross-section option with a special zoom function enables them to further examine the graph for deeper analysis.
• Make home a learning lab: Math and science are not just for the classroom. Make your home a learning environment too by providing your child with science and robotics kits. You can also check out free online resources that can help kids get a leg up in the classroom, like the Casio Education website. Found at casioeducation.com, the site features tons of resources to assist with remote learning and helps incorporate technology into mathematics learning.
• Go the extra mile: Extracurricular programming can make the challenge of math and science fun and engaging. At a young age, enroll your daughter in coding and science camps, as well as STEM-related after school activities. When she is older, encourage her participation in groups like the astronomy club and math team. Starting in high school, look into internships in STEM fields.
Promoting early development of math and science skills for girls and young women will go a long way toward building their confidence and setting them up to succeed.
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