Fostering Middle School Girls’ Interest in STEM
How can we make STEM a more attractive and meaningful option for adolescent girls and boys alike? This project focuses on how to establish best practices for boosting girls’ belonging in STEM, while bolstering boys’ respect for girls’ abilities. To combat obstacles girls may face in pursuing a STEM career, we test interventions that: (1) change boys’ beliefs about girls via implicit bias training and presenting real evidence that test scores underestimate girls’ abilities, (2) expose girls to successful role models who share their values and preferences, and (3) encourage girls to identify with STEM by recognizing that a STEM career can help them accomplish some of their most cherished goals. We currently conduct this work in collaboration with the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI), Dr. Hilary Bergsieker, and Dr. Steve Wright’s labs.