Communities play a key role in helping girls to pursue STEM studies. Learn how your family, school, and community-at-large can positively encourage your daughter in STEM.
It’s easy to place all of the responsibility for teaching solely on our school system. However, I would argue that our communities at large and as a whole play a key role: home, schools, and the larger community. Especially when it comes to STEM.
This is a sponsored post.
What is STEM? Why Is It Important?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Some organizations expand this acronym to STEAM to include Art education.
It is imperative that we take an active role in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology experts.
The Shortage Of Women In STEM
Why is there such a shortage of qualified women in the U.S. pursuing engineering or other STEM fields? According to Fast Company:
“Research shows women decide to become involved in STEM or related fields very early on, at around one-year-old to 18 months, when we begin playing with toys. Male students are more likely to pursue STEM because they have always enjoyed games and toys that are focused on their chosen subject area.
In North America, adults make decisions about which toys we promote to children. As we do that, we slowly drive girls to think of other fields rather than STEM-related. Much of what we do as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles is subtle, but it is consistent through childhood.”
How You Can Encourage Girls in STEM
Here are five practical ways you can start encouraging girls to study STEM today:
1. Invite Questions
Encourage your daughter’s natural curiosity about the world. Scientists and engineers are professional question askers and problem solvers.
Let her know that she doesn’t have to have all the answers. Instead, encourage her to explore and discover!
When my daughter was in preschool, she was named “Most Inquisitive.” In STEM, that’s a good thing!
Celebrate her when she tries new things. Even if you don’t understand STEM, be positive anyway.
2. Encourage her to Pursue STEM in School
Expect girls to do well in STEM and communicate your expectations clearly. With the growing importance of science and technological literacy, it is important to spark and strengthen girls’ engagement, interest, and confidence in STEM subjects in elementary and middle school.
Once in high school, your daughter will make choices that will either open or close doors to STEM studies and career choices.
High school was easy for me. I graduated from high school at the top of my class, with joint graduation from a governor’s school dedicated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Was college easy, too? Not so much!
Nevertheless, I went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with B.A. in Communication Studies. I now have a technology-based position in marketing with an advertising agency.
It’s a very flexible job that allows me to attend field trips to art museums with my daughter (pictured below).
Having a strong knowledge base in STEM topics will give your girl the opportunity to access any career path she chooses, with confidence. Even being a mechanic!
Help her see the connections between STEM classes and future career options. Start early!
3. Help Access STEM Opportunities
Great STEM learning opportunities can be found outside the classroom. I was also able to attend a field trip to a local zoo with her.
Learning opportunities for kids can be found at science museums, zoos, scouting organizations, and STEM clubs during after-school hours, weekends, and summer breaks. We love visiting our transportation museum.
These programs often provide girls with introductions to working female mentors who can help girls navigate the course of becoming a scientist or engineer.
There is a new kids franchise business called Snapology.
Snapology’s approach is based on proven research that childrens’ best learning experiences come from actively designing, creating, interacting and inventing. Snapology activities encourage social skills and teamwork, while teaching STEM / STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) and literacy concepts to children.
Educating children on STEM concepts has become a larger focus in our school systems over the past few years, but many schools don’t have the resources to allow children explore these concepts in a fun, interactive manner.
It’s amazing to have a local resource to inspire children to pursue careers in STEM fields through educational play and hands-on learning at a young age.
4. Connect her to a Role Model/Mentor
Seeing women who have succeeded in STEM helps inspire and motivate girls, especially when they can relate to these role models as people with lives outside of work. Role models and mentors not only broaden girls’ views of who does science, but expand girls’ vision of what’s possible in their own lives. You can share role models with your girl by reading biographies, looking at video and text profiles online and watching tv shows (fictional and documentary) that feature female STEM role models.
Talk with family, neighbors, friends and community members that work in STEM fields and ask them questions about what they do and how they got there.
5. Incorporate STEM Into Your Home
The home is the first institution of learning. We need to encourage our girls to build their self-esteem at home so that they can be able to fight the system when it discourages them to follow their hearts.
Often, we have to encourage ourselves and rise above the criticism when you are a minority (by ethnicity or gender or both).
Women only represent 26% of the STEM workforce. Encouraging women and others who are underrepresented to enter these fields will ultimately improve these professions, maximizing innovation to create products and services that are better representations of all users.
In addition, jobs in these areas offer higher than average salaries, and employment in STEM occupations are expected to increase much faster than the overall growth rate for occupations. (Source)
Encourage women to follow subjects like Mathematics and Science. Encourage them not to be intimidated by the idea that men are more capable in STEM fields. In fact, women can end up making history in STEM!
As students’ progress to middle and high schools, the disparity becomes evident. Foreign-born parents living in American strongly encourage their children to excel in STEM programs.
See gifts in your children and encourage them to be the best. Help pay for all their education and help them apply for scholarships.
Do everything in your power to help your daughters (and sons) to be successful!
This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal. This set is recommended for ages 6+.
How to Win a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This promotion is open until April 6, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST and is limited to US residents, 18 years or older. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to email within 24 hours or prize may be forfeited. Promotional content and prize for this promotion is provided by and shipped by sponsor. and/or its representatives. The prize may be sent via FedEx or UPS. No P.O. Boxes please.
Tracy Shafer says
Anything that teaches children to think for themselves and be creative.
It lets kids be creative and get their imaginations flowing
It allows children to be creative
Lori Walker says
I think it’s awesome.
Stephanie Liske says
Kids love Legos. Toys help keep kids interested. If they can learn while they play they learn more completely.
Donna Clifford says
Because we live in a computer age. The more skills the better.
Kim Niland says
Why wouldn’t it be a good idea if it teaches? Anything kids can learn is a good idea
Ashley C says
Any business idea that encourages creativity and learning is a good one in my opinion!
Darcy Koch says
It requires children to do some thinking while playing. The creativity will encourage them to expand their minds.
It’s a fun way to learn.
STEM is enjoying a moment right now in the public consciousness so this business is tapping into a big movement.
Jennifer Heintz says
Good franchise idea as many want to encourage STEM, and this program accomplishes that.
jeremy mclaughlin says
It teaches creativity.
Cindy Peterson says
We need additional programs that encourage STEM and giving girls strong role models.
angela smith says
Teaches them skills and communication skills if working with others
Great franchise idea-I like that it teaches important skills that will be useful in the future.
Laura Mccartney says
it helps with their cognitive skills and it get them to think and be creative
I think it would be a good business franchise because it’s time as come! STEM concepts are so important now, both in school and at home. This is a great idea!
Elizabeth P says
Learning through creativity is awesome.
carrie s says
Because this allows children to build, explore, be creative, use their imagination.
Donna Clifford says
kids love legos!
Nancy Bowers says
Girls tend to think math and science is guy stuff even if they are good at it. society as a whole depicts men as the scientists, engineers and inventors. Women have much to contribute in all these areas.
Candace Miller says
It gives kids who may be shy to be creative.
It allows kids to use their imagination
Erin Madigan says
I think it is important to encourage young people to enjoy engineering and other science-based programs.
stephanie scales campbell says
It teaches children to use there creative side.
Tandi Cortez says
It lets kids be creative and let them true selves come out! 😀
That’s a tough one, but I would say one that teaches kids to code would be good.
Katie Bellamy says
It teaches the kids a lot!
Terry Stevens says
It allows kids to use their imagination in a technology driven society where any do not get the chance .
Alexandra Oller says
This is a great idea, I think children learn best if they’re playing and having a good time.
I think it’s great because it gets their creative juices flowing. 🙂
STEM educational programs are something parents and kids want to have, so this program should be a success.
Donna Clifford says
Danielle Porter says
There seems t be a huge demand for these toys not only for girls but boys as well.
Danielle Magee says
A good children’s idea is something that gets children motivated to learn by incorporating fun activities
Donna L says
I like that it lets kids use their imagination.
beth shepherd says
It is great for their creativity and teaches them responsibility. Thank you
David s says
Anything that teaches kids to learn is great
Snapology looks great!! It’s important to make girls realize that they can do anything they want. I think parents would love that. I’m waiting for the movie “Hidden Figures” to come out on DVD. That is an AMAZING story! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you. Happy Spring!
Jennifer Wilson says
Being creative is the key to success in life!
I think it’s so important to build their self confidence in younger years. I wish I had been encouraged more, I always felt i wasn’t “good” in the stem areas in school so anything to help foster that love for learning is great!
I think art studios are a great idea.
Jill Rivera says
I love to make children mind wander. I hate when they say their are bored, so anything that makes their minds wander and creative is a happy kid.
It fosters creativity and problem-solving, but at the same time is fun!
Katherine S says
My kids would love this. I love all the stem and learning toys that are out right
robin stevens says
I think it is a great idea because not only are kids playing but they are learning at the same time.
Erica Hall says
Teaching kids in ways that get them involved is usually more productive (and fun for them) than just lecturing them.
I love how this lets kids get to experience trial and error in a rewarding way.
Lauryn R says
This is a great learning experience for kids! I love that it teaches them to be creative with hands on experience.
Marilyn Nawara says
Kids love to play with legos — great way to learn while having fun.
rebecca day says
It lets kids be creative
Kathryn Hyatt says
It lets kids be creative and learn real world skills
Katrina Angele says
Because it’s great to encourage this kind of thinking
I think it encourages kids to be creative and work with their hands.
Getting kids to want to learn and be creative is wonderful.
Darlene Owen says
I think its a good idea because it helps pay for kids education and helps them apply for scholarships.
Tee Anderson says
Legos are a great way for kids to be more creative.
Brittney House says
I like that it gets the kids thinking critically.
Shemp DeYoung says
I’m all for anything that inspires both thought and creativity.
Christine Labelle says
I love the idea of teaching kids to be creative and being independent. They need structure and goals to succeed.
Dominique Cloutier says
Because it’s a company that children already are familiar with and already have a connection with.
Francine Anchondo says
Anything that lets them be creative.
Lisa Bourlier says
Anything that helps young girls excel has my vote!
Its a fun way for kids to learn.
humera tabassum says
Of course it is an awesome idea as creative toys are the demand of the day and my kids love legos
Absolutely love this for kids!
Patricia Vazquez says
It allows them to showcase their creativity
It allows kids to be creative and free thinkers.
Connie Tillman says
anything that will help kids be creative and think out side the box
Danalee Davis says
I love that this product is both educational and fun!
As a single mom of a daughter — and as a woman actually working in a STEM field — I’d definitely support any of my friends/neighbors who opened a franchise like this.
misty woods says
I think it is a great way to get kids engaged and it sounds like fun.
Yvonne Delgado says
It is a field that is much needed for women to enter into. The skills learned thru STEM can place them in a position to excel in a field that lacks females. I encourage both my sons and daughter to get as much knowledge as they can in areas of study that they may not naturally be led to. My sons actually don’t have a problem with this area being an interest to them, but for my daughter it is an area she needs to work on her interest level. It is great for encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit.
It is important to encourage the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to be successful in STEM fields. Anything that helps the development of these skills is a is great.
Elizabeth Brooks says
Building toys are the best
wen budro says
Because this looks like a wonderful way to combine fun with learning. I also see the benefits- to the child- such as increased self-confidence and creativity.
teaching kids creativity
susan smoaks says
I think this is a good idea because it is fun and creative. I am always looking for fun learning opportunities for our children.
KELLY MCGREW says
learning new things is never a bad thing! also, USA is very behind on science and mathematics compared to the rest of the globe so our children need all of the help they can get!
Lisa V. says
I have a daughter who has a daughter, and we both encourage higher learning in those fields.
Carissa joslyn says
Children’s imaginations and creativeness can flourish! Which is essential these days where technology takes over sometimes.
megan tilley says
It helps flourish their imagination they can do so many brilliant things with it.
Charisse DeLima says
This works in so many ways for the growth of a child. Anytime you can educate and entertain and teach them to go beyond the normal is a win in my box.
Karen Stokes says
I already have a grandson that is extremely interested in the sciences. He shares all his information with his little sister and she has watched him play with Legos since he began. He is amazing and makes up stories to go with each figure he creates. She is fascinated and looks up to her big brother. He is 9 and she is 4. She gets her share of Legos also though right now she is still interested in her stuffed animals more.
Andrea v says
Building creativity and imaginations
Heather Jenks says
Kids are way more apt to remember things they learn during a multi-sensory experience compared to simply hearing or writing information.
Kayla Klontz says
I think it’s an awesome way to show creativity and building skills!
Natalia Gonzalez says
It’s good cause kids can creat e and have fun at the same time.
I think its great that its hands on learning with guidance. The best way to learn is to do it yourself – but not if you have no idea where to start or what steps to take.
Rennie d says
It is a good idea because it’s a excellent way to learn and for them to be creative!
Heidi Lewis says
Legos and kids go together. They are a great creative toy that allow the imagination to run free.
tina reynolds says
It encourages creativity and interaction. I read an article yesterday where kids need more creative play it is one of the best ways to learn
Erica B. says
I love it for encouraging education.
Marsali A says
Legos that float better, for the bathtub!
Rachelle Anderson says
I love things that let kids be creative!
it teaches the kids to think creatively
Nichole McK says
yes because I like anything that gets kids thinking and working with their hands instead of sitting in front of the tv
Tracie Cooper says
I love how it fosters creativity and imagination!
Jennifer H. says
I think that kids would be entertained by this.
John H. says
I think that this is a fun toy for kids.
It lets kids be creative.
LeAnn Harbert says
They won’t get bored because they can make different toys out of it.
Kelley Foulk says
this is a great business because not only do kids learn but they play at the same timr
Leah Shumack says
It gives kids a chance to be creative and think outside of the box!
Allyson Becker says
I think it helps to grow the creativity of children.
Joy L says
Limitless opportunities abound.
CREAVTIVITY and being able to manage on their own great qualities to learn
Amy W says
Creativity is essential for building confidence in children which will allow them to succeed
STEM skills are so important today. This is a fun way to incorporate it!
It teaches kids to be creative.
Letting children have the chance to be creative is always a great thing!
Tasha Wilkerson says
I love this idea because it shows kids that learning can be fun!!
I love that the kids can use their imagination
Maureen Ruble says
I enjoyed reading your post. Girls are so often forgotten in the STEM world. I love that my daughter has the same opportunities as her brothers. I believe this is a great franchise idea.
Amy H says
Because it lets kids be creative which is great!
KENNETH OHL says
I love this this is great for kids
Kristi R says
What a great way to teach Stem! My children would love it!
elizabeth miller says
I think it is a great idea because it allows creative learning that is hands on for children. Children always love building and creating,
Audrey Stewart says
It really challenges children, I also loved all the photos.
Amy Conyers says
Our children’s futures are SO important. Creativity is great for their little minds! STEM is essential these days!
I think this is a good kids franchise business idea because it keeps kids creative and learning! Love it!
Crissie Woolard says
I think this is a great idea because it requires them to think for their sales, teaches independence and also teaches them new skills
Laurie Nykaza says
This is a nice franchise business helping kids to be creative and learn making it fun for them to and empowering them at the same time with learning tools for success .
Tina W says
How could anyone argue against a business model that is about encouraging kids thinking and creativity????
Vikki Billings says
I always believe that when you mix learning with something else that kids are interested in, it makes them pay more attention and stay focused and everyone loves building with legos.
Angelica Dimeo says
Anything that teaches children is amazing
It allows children to use their imagination.
Connie Gruning says
I love it when kids can learn and HAVE FUN!!
Michelle C says
I like when kids are encouraged to be creative and have fun!
Missy Schutz says
Legos let kids get creative. My son LOVES Legos!
Encouraging children to take part in STEM activities can only serve them well in the future. Making a franchise that has that as a focus is a wonderful way to give back and serve our kids now and everyone in future generations as they grow up.
Laurie Emerson says
I think that this is a good idea as it encourages children to think creatively. It also inspires confidence in themselves.
Amber Cheras says
I think it’s wonderful. It encourages children to think outside the box and explores their creativity.
Kids love LEGOs and they don’t even know they are learning!
Janine H says
It helps keep kids off their electronics!
I think anything that gets kids intrested in learning is great!