A new study called “Closing the STEM Gap” published in March 2018 by Microsoft surveyed more than 6,000 girls and young women on their interests and perceptions of science, technology, engineering and math. They found that girls lose interest in STEM careers as they get older. What can be done? The study cited recommendations to change this narrative. This included: role models and mentors, exposure to real-world examples of STEM, hands-on experience through participation in STEM-related clubs and activities, and encouragement from parents and educators could.
Our KDSL Global Fellow Tiffany Johnson recently interviewed one of her students to find out her perception about STEM after attending Interactive STEM Development Seminar for Underrepresented Students hosted by the Woods Educational Enrichment Foundation in Chicago. This was an additional program Johnson, who is implementing the recommendations in the study, suggested to her students.
This purpose of the seminar was to introduce and expose students to STEM career options and provide hands on experience with real world topics and projects leading to the development of the students as future leaders in the STEM fields.
What are your feelings about STEM?
“I feel like STEM is great for all kinds of people. It allows you to dive more in depth about the world, technology, etc.”
Do you see yourself as a person who would pursue a career in the STEM field? If so, which field and why?
“Yes, I see myself pursuing a career in sciences, specifically psychology or sociology, becaucareese I like to study the functions of the brain, the actions of humans, and why people do the things they do.”
What did you do at the STEM event you attended?
“At the event, I had to design a functional hand using cardboard, sticks, tape, and string. I also made slime. The instructors that were there were African American men who knew a GREAT deal about STEM.”
How would you describe your feeling about STEM? Are you intimidated? Do you feel like you would be supported as you pursue a career in this field?
“I am supported greatly by my family and different teachers who push me to join the STEM field. My feelings towards the STEM field are that I think it offers different opportunities to different types of people to work in an advanced field. Also, I feel like being a part of this field, I would be able to represent African-Americans in a positive way.”
To learn more about Woods Educational Enrichment Foundation visit https://www.weefchicago.org/
Meet Janessa, a high school scholar interested in STEM and recent participant in the Woods Educational Enrichment Foundation in Chicago.
Imagine 9,000 of the top K-12 mathematics teachers in the world in one place. Chances are, you were thinking of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference. Recently, NCTM held their annual international conference in Washington, D.C. in the United States with thousands of teachers from over 30 countries collaborating and learning from each other. This three day event is by far the largest and most prestigious mathematics education conference in the world and the caliber and quality of presentations are unparalleled.
Representing the GCC were Dr. Cory A. Bennett, of Bennett Educational Consulting and KDSL Global, and two teachers from the American United School of Kuwait, Mrs. Minette Finney and Mr. Kenny Johnson. This team presented what they have been learning about implementing authentic problem solving using non-routine tasks to a group of over 200 teachers. The standing room only session shared some of their recommendations for structuring and implementing problem solving as well as how this work develops students’ persistence, grit, and beliefs about being successful in mathematics.
In the nearly two years leading up to this event, Dr. Bennett worked closely with the teachers and found considerable results with students. After the first rounds of problem solving students were already coming to class wanting to do more, talking in more complex and in-depth ways about mathematical relationships, and overall, behaving more like student mathematicians. “Never did I imagine that my students who struggled in class could have such complex thoughts about mathematics. They really understood what they were doing” shared Mr. Johnson who teaches sixth and seventh grade mathematics. Mrs. Finney, a fourth grade teacher, also added that her students “learned to view themselves as capable and competent mathematicians. I always work with them on this but through this problem solving they grew in ways I had not seen before.”
“Every school, and every teacher, is capable of this kind of excellence,” said Dr. Bennett afterwards. “When schools and teachers are willing to invest in this kind of on-going, collaborative, and job-embedded work, kids elevate to meet the challenge,” Dr. Bennett added. Contact KDSL Global to learn more about this work and how your teachers can access these materials.
KDSL Global is pleased to announce our new fellow. The fellowship focuses on writing, leadership and launching a new education idea.
Samantha Rodriguez was born and raised in Long Island, New York and graduated from Providence College where she studied Public and Community Service and Political Science. Being the first in her family to graduate from college, the value of education was constantly emphasized. Samantha has spent the better part of her life working with youth in different contexts. Since graduating from Providence, Samantha has taught Math in Tsakane, South Africa, was a 9th Grade English Teacher in the South Bronx, has been a College Access Counselor, and is now a Service Learning Program Coordinator for buildOn in Chicago, Illinois. She simultaneously attends graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago working towards an MEd in Youth Development. Samantha has always believed that all students are worthy of a strong educational foundation as well as a strong support system that helps them become successful. With her MEd in Youth Development, it is Samantha’s goal to help create spaces that intentionally provide youth with opportunities to develop their interests, skills, and abilities.
ABOUT KDSL Global
KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. To find out more information visit http://www.kdslglobal.com.