Habitot Children's Museum

FALL-WINTER HOURS
October 1- March 31
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30

SPRING-SUMMER HOURS
April 1 - September 30
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
Private Rentals Only

THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
State Farm Insurance
Berkeley Agent, Gary Eason
http://garyeason.net/



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Habitot is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that relies on community support



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Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org


Girls in STEM
STEM learning – science, math, engineering and technology – is on everyone’s lips these days and the idea that these skills are essential for your child’s future employability is everywhere. In fact, STEM occupations are currently growing at twice the rate as non-STEM occupations, and overall professionals in STEM careers earn 20% more in their life times than those in other professions.

However, the more we learn about the importance of STEM, the more we see how STEM classes and STEM fields are disproportionately populated by boys and men, and the gender gap in the STEM workforce is wide. The majority of studies show no differences between boys and girls in STEM ability, there is a large divide in perceived competence that starts as early as age five. By third grade, boys rate their own math competence higher than girls do, even though no differences in actual performance are found.

Parents can have tremendous influence in encouraging girls to enjoy and excel in STEM subjects. Mothers who work in these fields are role models and fathers especially who spend time with their daughters demonstrating how tools are used, repairing and building things and generally involving them in science and math projects have positive impact. In fact, most people who go into STEM fields talk about doing these kinds of things with their fathers.

Here are some basic ways to support girls towards STEM success:

  • Offer a STEM-friendly Home. Science happens everywhere. Gardening, auto mechanics, construction, cooking and plumbing all use STEM skills. Encourage safe experimentation and discovery in the kitchen and backyard, where daughters can practice predicting, measuring, observing and analyzing.

  • Encourage Questions. Encourage girls’ natural curiosity about the world. Scientists are professional question askers. Let her know that it’s perfectly acceptable to not have all the answers, and encourage her to explore and discover!

  • Purchase toys and games for girls that encourage problem solving and innovation. While many girls are drawn to the “girl section” in the store, make sure they have a wide variety of toys to play with, including chemistry sets, construction toys and science exploration tools.

  • Be mindful of your own expectations and stereotypes. Without even thinking about it, we often comment on boys’ strength and girls’ beauty. Pay attention to your language and the subtle stereotypes you may be reinforcing. Many girls are naturally interested in STEM – encourage it when you see it!

  • Find female role models for your daughter. If mom is not in s STEM field, seek out other women in your life who are to give your daughter STEM role models. Ideas include female pediatricians, programmers, inventors and many others. As your daughters grow, encourage them to ask her questions about what it’s like to be a scientist and how they got there.

 
Resources:

Tips for Encouraging Girls in STEM. PBS Kids.
http://www.pbs.org/parents/scigirls/stemsantional-resources/tips-for-encouraging-girls-in-stem/

Bridging the Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls in STEM Starts at Home. Alicia Chang.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alicia-chang/bridging-the-gender-gap-encouraging-girls-in-stem_b_4508787.html

Why STEM Education Is Important For Everyone. Science Pioneers.
https://www.sciencepioneers.org/parents/why-stem-is-important-to-everyone

Are you holding your own daughter back? Here are 5 ways to raise girls to be leaders. Washington Post.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2012/09/30/texting-while-parenting-what-effect-can-it-have-on-your-children/

 
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