After an exciting weekend in Hong Kong at the 21st Century Learning conference, I’ve been thinking a lot about girls in STEAM. I was happy to hear a lot of presentations about girls in STEAM/STEM and also conversations with other women who believe in empowering women to pursue leadership in education.
Learning more about the why girls typically don’t pursue STEM subjects has really helped me define my own “Why”. The one point that Sylvia Martinez made in her presentation, Girls in STEM: Inclusion, Equity, Action that really stuck was that when all our STEM clubs involve a competition or robots pushing things off tables we lose the girls.
The examples I’m going to share show how we can involve girls in STEAM education without needing to force them into areas they aren’t interested in. Allowing girls to design clothing with wearable LEDs or 3D printed jewelry to be showcased at a fashion show will create more buzz than a robotics competition. Brittany Morgan at Shekou International School has done amazing things in this field. Connecting with her has given me numerous examples for how we can do this at AISG.
Other examples below show women who have created art installations with copper LED paper circuits and coding wearable gloves to make music for to be performed using physical movements. These are all non-traditional forms of STEAM that I believe will generate more excitement around the subject for girls.