Women in Stem
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March is recognized as International Women’s Month. I wanted to bring light to women in STEM careers and Union County 4-H’s effort to provide girls as well as boys with the opportunity to gain STEM-related experiences that will lead into future careers. Statistically, girls make up 65 percent of the current enrollment of children going into school. However, they are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects as they get older and as they start to pursue career fields. Women also make up less than 30 percent of individuals in a science-type career. In the last few years, 4-H has developed ways to increase the number of female participation in STEM-related activities. Here are three other ways to provide awareness to women in STEM careers:
- Research notable women in STEM and acknowledge their contributions to society like Marie Curie who discovered two elements – polonium and radium after her research in radioactivity or Mae C. Jemison who is the first-ever Black woman to travel to space.
- Explore different careers and majors related to STEM. There are a number of outside-the-box careers that directly connect to STEM. For example, someone interested in sewing could potentially go to college and study textile engineering to understand why different fabric pieces work for different clothing. Now, there is growing research for sustainable clothing.
- Encourage them to participate in other community organizations that have lessons focused on STEM. Union County 4-H provides different lessons and opportunities geared towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics including electric, robotics, agriculture technology and so much more. The majority of these activities take place during our Summer Fun program which starts in June for youth ages 5 to 14 years old.
If you are interested in learning more about Summer Fun or how to get your child involved with 4-H, contact the local 4-H office at 704.283.3735 or 704.283.3740.