STEM: 3 Ways Parents Can Support Their Daughters

Posted on: 20 January 2019

Studies show that in countries with more gender equality, fewer girls enter into STEM fields. Degrees in STEM fields, which is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math, are routinely earned more by young men than young women. These are typically well-paying fields that are in high demand and offer plenty of room for advancement. While some girls simply aren't interested in these subjects, there is concern they may not be receiving the same opportunity as boys to explore these subjects, to begin with.

For example, there is a vast difference in the subject matter taught in the popular scouting groups available to children, with girls more apt to learn things that were traditionally "women's work." Here are three ways parents of girls can be sure their daughters are receiving the same opportunities to develop an interest in STEM as their sons are.

1. Offer Additional Educational Opportunities

While kids are always happy for summer vacation and a break from school, most children are more than happy to go off to summer camp or attend summer school if it's in a topic they aren't already familiar with or are interested in. Today, summer camp is about way more than singing songs by the campfire and swimming. Instead, summer camps today offer countless learning adventures.

For example, there are technology summer camps that offer participants hands-on experience building robotics. Most of these summer camps segregate the boys and girls. This gives girls a huge opportunity to brainstorm on their own without male input and learn to work as a team with the other girls. Whether your daughter is interested in science, math, technology, or engineering, there is a summer camp that is right for them.

2. Create An Environment Of Family Equality

Girls are often relegated at a very young age to help their mother with household tasks such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, and caring for other family members. Boys, on the other hand, are often not given any of these responsibilities when these are tasks that are important for both genders to know.

Parents can instill change by insisting each of their children learn the basic skills that are necessary in life. This means the boys learn how to cook and the girls learn how to change a tire. A young girl's confidence increases tremendously when she realizes she is capable of doing just about anything. This confidence leads to the self-assurance necessary to further develop her problem-solving skills.

3. Provide Different Toys

Sure, most little girls like playing with dolls or cooking pretend food on their pretend stove. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be provided other toys, though. Many toy stores now offer an assortment of science, experiment, and exploration kits. Activities range from building working models of rockets to microscopes to chemical experiments and more. Choosing toys such as this for your daughter will allow them to explore STEM at their own pace.