Traditional methods of teaching and raising young girls are leading them to struggle to get involved with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and this is leading to a serious gender gap in these industries.
Mothers of girls can follow these simple tips to try and encourage their daughters to get involved in STEM subjects. Check out these Lego STEM activities.
ENCOURAGE HER AT A YOUNG AGE
From a young age, children develop preferences for certain types of play, which then lead to a preferred way of learning, so try to foster an interest in scientific, technical and mathematical subjects early on. Find some STEM-based toys to entertain them as they grow. Many of these products are focused on boys, but infants and toddlers will not be interested in the gendered marketing of their toys.
INTRODUCE HER TO BOOKS THAT SHOW STRONG STEM HEROINES
Find books that will show your daughter the benefits of STEM knowledge. Many have stories that will encourage them to explore technical pursuits and will be an antidote to traditional stories for girls, which often feature hapless girls who need to be rescued or princesses looking for their prince. Even if your child shows little or no interest in STEM subjects, it’s important that she reads stories that reflect independent women with their own thoughts and opinions, and these books are the best way to introduce her to this style of literature.
FIND A SCHOOL TO NURTURE HER INTEREST IN STEM
The education establishment you send your daughter to will have a strong influence on her future and her academic prowess, so select a space where her love of STEM subjects can be fostered and honed. You should be able to find schools that focus on STEM in your area as they come in abundance. For instance, there’s the network of Academies of Math and Science in the state of Arizona, including the Tucson Charter School and the Phoenix Charter School, helping you to find the perfect establishment to suit your daughter and encourage her love of STEM study.
REMEMBER THAT SHE’S AN INDIVIDUAL
It might be tempting to try and force your daughter to follow in your footsteps or achieve the career you’ve always wanted her to have, but remember that she’s an individual with her own personality, so try your best not to put too much pressure on her as this could lead her to resent you and struggle to become a well-adjusted adult. Instead, communicate with her and work out how she wants to spend her time so that she can learn at her own pace and absorb the information she feels is interesting.
These tips will help you to get your daughter interested in STEM subjects and drive her towards the career that’s right for her. Even if she’s not technically minded and chooses a different career path, make sure she values her independence and has the technical knowledge to take care of herself and her possessions. This approach will make sure that whatever profession she chooses she’ll always be able to look after herself no matter what life throws at her.