Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Role models and Informal STEM-Related Activities Positively Impact Female Interest in STEM
We often underestimate the impact afterschool clubs or community programs can have on a child's interest. Exposing children to such opportunities is one strategy for nurturing an open mindset.
Formal as well informal learning opportunities must be designed with a focus to create access, as well as build confidence in females to pursue their interests in STEM careers.
Role models have a positive impact on female students (Austin & Sax, 1996), and improved attitudes toward science have been linked to students’ exposure to role models (Clewell
& Ginorio, 1996; Kekelis, Ancheta, & Countryman, 2005). As students grow older, their course selections in math and science change; therefore, early out-of-school activities
can influence adolescent beliefs about what they do, which can be a predictor of which math and science courses students will take at the high school level (Eccles et al., 1985; Simpkins et al., 2006). This article describes one strategy that could be adapted for use within a homeschool community.