Date of Original Version
There continues to be a persistent, widespread gender gap in multiple STEM disciplines at all educational and professional levels: from the self-reported interest of preschool aged students in scientific exploration to the percentages of tenured faculty in these disciplines, more men than women express an interest in science, a confidence in their scientific abilities, and ultimately decide to pursue scientific careers. Reported herein is an intensive outreach effort focused on addressing this gender gap: a full-time, week-long chemistry camp that was designed and implemented for middle school girls in the state of Rhode Island. The camp schedule included multiple hands-on experiments, field trips, and significant interactions with female scientists, all of which were designed to increase the participants’ interest in and enthusiasm for science. The success of the program in changing the participants’ attitudes toward science was measured through administration of a precamp and postcamp survey, and the survey results demonstrated a strong success in changing the participants’ attitudes toward the widespread applicability of science, their perceived level of support for scientific study, and their interest in pursuing STEM-related careers.
Levine, M., Serio, N., Radaram, B., Chaudhuri, S., & Talbert, W.. (2015). Addressing the STEM Gender Gap by Designing and Implementing an Educational Outreach Chemistry Camp for Middle School Girls. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(10), 1639-1644. doi: 10.1021/ed500945g
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed500945g