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Girls in STEM Initiatives Aim to Close Gender Gap in Science

students at the Girls in STEM conference
“Structural Engineer Kappi Whiteman reviews basic parts of a building with students at the Girls in STEM conference held at Holman Middle School.”

In K-12 education, girls are less likely to take engineering and computer science classes. In higher education, more disparities emerge especially for women of color, according to the non-profit National Girls Collaborative Project. Citing data from the National Science Board, that group points out that in the professional workforce, women make up just 11% of physicists and astronomers; 10% of electrical or computer hardware engineers, and 8% of mechanical engineers.

To reduce this gender gap, educators in Central Virginia are developing new initiatives to support girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM fields. In Henrico, a recent Girls in STEM conference drew more than 150 students from eight schools. For Learning Curve, 88.9 WCVE’s Catherine Komp attended the event and spoke with co-organizer Beth Lewis, a Gifted Resource Teacher at Holman Middle School.