Femininity, Girls & STEM: The impact of internalized gender norms on engagement in STEM
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
11:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Pittsburgh YWCA
6907 Frankstown Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Join this open, interactive presentation on the impact of rigid feminine norms on girls and STEM achievement. Part I is an overview of gender and STEM. Part II is a training for educators and facilitators on TrueChild’s model FaST (Feminine And STem) curriculum - an opportunity to explore strategies for enhancing girls' opportunities in STEM.

The STEM field has done an amazing job of addressing a host of external barriers to girls’ participation: like lack of role models, teacher bias, etc. But what about internal barriers, like girls’ own attitudes?

For instance, in one focus group, when asked if girls couldn't be smart, feminine, AND popular with boys, they looked at one another and burst out laughing, explaining: "Yes, but not in junior high!" Because that’s when they had to "dumb it down" and focus on appearance. They described an attractive classmate whom "no one sees as a pretty girl because she is so smart she's like a nerd."

As one principal in East San Jose has noted: "We're making progress, yet our upper level classes are still all boys. Gender norms feel like an overlooked but crucial part of the solution."

FREE. Light lunch will be provided. Contact Colleen Smith: cms64@psu.edu for more information.
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