Tuesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day! Dedicate your lesson plans to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women in STEM
International Women’s Day is a time to shine the spotlight on female role models, talk about the barriers they’ve come up against throughout their studies and careers, bust boring and dated stereotypes, and find ways to do things better.
Below are simple – yet powerful – things you can do to get your students engaged and involved.
1. Introduce students to inspiring role models
If you can see it you can be it! Spend some time getting across the stories and CVs of women absolutely killing it in STEM fields. Below, three scientists have even shared their top tips for young women in STEM to help them on their own journeys.
Bioinformatician Areej Alsheikh has always been interested in logic and analytical thinking, which led her down the career path of biology and microbial genomics.
She encourages budding female STEM enthusiasts to pursue their passions in their chosen industry, sharing that it’s not ‘scary’ or something that can’t be obtained.
“STEM is the future of careers so it’s best to hop on that train now if you have the interest.”
Dr Elizabeth Thomas is researching genetic markers associated with cognitive impairment across the schizophrenia spectrum.
She believes we need to get more young women excited about STEM. “I think it’s important to get the next generation of students interested in STEM – they’re our future! In particular, I love talking to young women and getting them excited about STEM. We’re underrepresented, and we need to make our presence known!”
Dr Ashleigh Hood is a L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellow and has a killer career as a geologist.
Her advice for girls wanting to break into STEM fields? “Be curious, get involved and don’t ever think you are not clever enough for science or maths. Make sure your voice is heard in class! We need more women working in STEM as I believe research innovation is driven by diverse teams and perspectives. There are so many intelligent and passionate women with amazingly creative ideas who need to chose STEM, pursue their ideas and solve problems to make the world a better place.”
Read the awesome stories of more women in STEM here.
2. Sign your class up for the Girls Day Out in STEM: Sustainability Cryptoquest
Want to save the planet with your tech smarts? In solidarity with this year’s International Women’s Day theme – Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow – Girls Day Out in STEM (GDOS) is bringing sustainability to computer science by hosting an epic interactive online quest.
In partnership with Google, the iSustainability CryptoQuest invites girls aged 10-14 to solve six fun cryptography challenges. Each will have a sustainability theme and encourage the development of advanced tech concepts like cryptography, cyber security and software engineering, while tackling real-world climate issues.
More info here.
3. Amplify the voices of Indigenous women in STEM
Our First Nations peoples were the first scientists, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women continue to make extraordinary contributions in science.
Find the stories of Cass Hunter (Indigenous social ecological researcher), Karlie Noon (astronomer), Kirsten Banks (astrophysicist and science communicator) and more in the latest Careers with STEM: Indigenous issue.
On socials, be sure to follow and share the work and ideas of:
- @AstroKirsten, Wiradjuri astrophysicist
- @jade_mikaela, entrepreneur, environmental scientist and Cabrogal woman
- @karlie_moon_, Gomeroi astronomer
@KrystalDeNapoli, Gomeroi astrophysicist
- @millermaddi_, Darug archaeologist
4. Load up on free resources
- Watch on-demand videos of women in STEM sharing their career journeys.
- Share hundreds of role models of women in STEM careers.
- Read free online magazines with diverse people in STEM including all genders, cultural backgrounds and neurodiversities!
- Buy a mag subscription for your niece, daughter, sister, mother or aunt!
- Download the free Women in Engineering classroom poster.
- 7 benefits of inspiring STEM education in young girls
- SMART agriculture of the future
- WA digging deep for skilled miners
Author: STEM Contributor
This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.