Explanation Illustration Intervention
General Middle School High School Undergraduate
Myth: When girls just aren't interested in science, parents can't do much to motivate them.
Reality: Parents' support (as well as that of teachers) has been shown to be crucial to a girl's interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Making girls aware of the range of science and engineering careers available and their relevance to society works to attract more women (as well as men) to STEM careers. Parents and teachers are also in a position to tell young people what they need to do (in terms of coursework and grades) to put themselves on a path to a STEM career.
Best known as the first American woman to travel in space, Sally Ride is also a physicist, educator, and author. She is the founder of Sally Ride Science, a science content company dedicated to supporting girls' and boys' interests in science, math and technology. She offers a guide for parents, "Science Can Take Her Places" at http://www.sallyridescience.com/.
“It also found that parents tend to do more to encourage their sons than their daughters to develop that interest, through such actions as buying them math- and science-related toys and voicing stereotypes about girls’ supposed shortcomings in those subjects.”
Cavanagh, S. (2007) When It comes to math and science, mom and dad count: Parent attitudes influence how their offspring take to those subjects. Education Week. Vol. 27, Issue 09, Page 8.