While girls are often interested in STEM topics at a young age, they can sometimes face social stigma or pushback from their peers or adults that causes them to lose confidence. You can help your daughters, nieces, or girl students gain confidence in their STEM abilities. My First Lab has some fun ideas for encouraging girls in STEM at an early age.
Involve them in science experiments
One great way to get girls involved in technical fields early is to let them try experiments! You can find a variety of great back-to-school science experiments on our blog. You can also determine what your kids are interested in and develop science experiments about that. For example, if your daughter is interested in something like cooking, you can teach her the chemistry of why certain ingredients react the way they do. One great example of this is making bread in a bag and explaining why yeast works to make bread rise. Suppose your daughter is already interested in science-related concepts, for example, the rainforest. In that case, you can delve further into more STEM-specific experiments, like soil analysis or creating a terrarium!
Encourage outside exploration
Encouraging time outside of the house could influence kids who wouldn’t naturally be interested in STEM to be much more willing to explore STEM concepts! It may be boring to learn about plant species in a book, but it can be exciting to learn about them using your hand-held microscope. If you’re interested in getting your kids a microscope they can use on outdoor expeditions, check out our Smartphone Inspector!
Show them female role models
Here at My First Lab, we routinely spotlight female scientists on our Instagram. While female scientist representation may be easy to find on the internet, it may be more inspiring for your daughter to learn from someone she knows in real life. You can try taking her to your local science museum or observatory to meet real-life scientists, or look for everyday representation in her life, whether through a female doctor, veterinarian, or researcher. Letting her know that there are successful female scientists in your community will show her that she can one day enter that field!
Show them social impact
Girls are often socialized to be pressured to take on socially helpful careers like teaching and nursing. However, the industries of STEM still have a hugely influential impact on helping people in their everyday lives. You can show your daughters how automation through coding, medical research, environmental research, and biological research are all being used to help improve people’s lives in real-time.
Encourage instead of shaming
A report conducted by Microsoft found that 60% of girls lose interest in STEM by age 15. Although there is no definitive proof as to why this happens, many girls may lose interest in STEM due to the shame of struggling in STEM with a lack of encouragement. Instead of dismissing these subjects as hard or telling your daughters that they may not have a natural aptitude, let them know they can succeed if they continue trying! Rather than shaming girls for not being good enough, encourage them to continue trying despite failure. One great way to encourage girls is by providing them with STEM-related toys and tools. One fantastic early microscope you can introduce to your kids is our Duo Scope. This scope is kid-friendly in size and easy to use.
My First Lab is passionate about helping girls succeed in STEM. We believe that at-home toys and experiments can help strengthen a child’s learning experience. If you want to introduce your kids to fun STEM concepts at home, check out some of the experiments we have on our Maximum Launch blog.
My First Lab has been a leader in developing STEM equipment for the past 30 years. With products ranging from microscopes and bundles to prepared slides and accessories, we are sure to have any product that a junior investigator, hobbyist, or educational leader could need. Learn how to create hands-on experiments by browsing our blog or checking out our award-winning products.