GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) has been working since 1994 to increase interest in STEM for girls in elementary and middle school and to expose girls to the enjoyment and wonder of these fields. Educators can explore the pages on the GEMS website and find out about the organization’s purpose, history, activities, research, and resources for encouraging girls to maybe even start a club of their own. The website offers resources for starting a club, research on the impact of clubs such as GEMS, gender equity research, tips for teachers and parents, activities to encourage girls in math and science, and links for girls to explore.
My colleague and I recently formed a bilingual parent group to strengthen our relationship with our Spanish speaking families. Parents repeatedly explained that the language barrier caused them to feel that they did not have a voice. Each parent expressed a desire to feel more connected to our school. Hearing this made me think, “How can we give a voice to the voiceless in our schools?” To overcome this barrier, we brought families together to record a video. Parents shared the importance of education in their families and then expressed what they wished teachers knew about them. The video has made such a strong impact in our community that it is now shown throughout Wisconsin.
NWEA offers Educators for Equity Grants to foster academic growth among underserved students, including those who are economically disadvantaged and Englishlearners. Proposed programs should be equity-focused, evidence-based, culturally relevant to students served, and explicitly designed to improve academic opportunities and outcomes.
Eighth-grade girls outperformed their male peers in five out of six STEM content areas in the most recent National Assessment of Educational ProgressTechnology and Engineering Literacy assessment. Girls were especially strong in testing categories related to communication and collaboration. Nearly all student subgroups posted increases in scores, including among black students, Asian students, white students, low-income students, public school students, students whose parents did not finish high school, and those whose parents graduated college.
Diversity-specialized programs equip students with the knowledge, resources, and skillsets they need to achieve STEM opportunities in computing. Code as a Second Language (CSL) is a national initiative that works toward introducing youth to computer science and making technical training and careers accessible to women and underrepresented minorities.