Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Engineering is for Women Too

Statistically, girls start losing interest in math and science as early as eight years old. Why? Some believe part of this fault is with schools. That teachers can be blamed because when writing reviews on class performance they are more likely to say that a female student struggles with math even if she is doing just as well as a male student who the teacher says doesn’t struggle. Another study suggests that boys, who are louder, consume teacher’s attention in elementary schools, and girls often fade into the background. Whatever the reason is, there is a disparity in women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. As of right now, women hold only 27% of those jobs. 

Debbie Sterling left a comfortable engineering career to research how to get girls interested in engineering. Her solution? GoldieBlox: An engineering toy for girls. When reading several different articles to write this blog, I noticed that a lot of writers were calling this toy “Legos for Girls.” Well, there are Legos for girls. They are pink washed play sets that are more about hair salons and dolls than actually building. Sterling went beyond just turning a toy pink, she did extensive research and came to the conclusion that while boys are content with building sets, girls enjoy toys that have a story. Her idea for GoldieBlox was to combine the two, and so far, it has had a great response.

Could development of new toys keep girls interested in engineering? One can hope.

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