We should encourage our girls as well as our boys to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Job growth is likely to be higher in these areas and the jobs can provide long-term career opportunities. Girls in particular may need more encouragement to focus on STEM study.
How do raise and encourage girls to study STEM? Here are a few ideas and thoughts that can help your girls (and maybe boys too).
— Encourage your child to ask questions. Sometimes it takes extra patience to listen and try to respond but not being afraid to ask questions is an important skill to develop to become an effective learner. Plus, wanting to know how things work in the first logical step in scientific inquiry
— Reinforce the idea that smart girls are attractive, self-assured and desirable.
— Monitor the courses your child is taking at school. Don’t allow teachers or counselors to assume your child would not be interested in more intensive STEM courses. Some courses require that other courses be taken first. Find out early what the curriculum choices and requirements are and discuss with your child. .
— Encourage your child to keep at it even when they find some concepts hard to grasp. Encourage your daughter not to give up, but to dig in and spend the time to learn or figure something out, and seek help if necessary.
— Find good role models — The White House has highlighted a few women STEM role models. If you know someone in your church or community who is in one of the STEM disciplines, you might ask them to talk to your child about what they do and how they chose their career.