What Does Research Tell Us About How To Encourage Girls in Math and Science?

Yesterday I spent the day at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR where I attended a one-day workshop featuring research-based best practices for creating math and science classrooms that are engaging and motivating for girls. Based on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) practice guide, Encouraging Girls in Math and Science, we explored strategies for implementing a more relevant math and science curriculum, engaging students in real-world problems, and recognizing the diverse needs of students when it comes to math and science learning and motivation. It was a very interesting day where I met some great people and hopefully will be able to follow up with this new network to bring some new and exciting ideas into my classroom. 🙂

The day began with a keynote by Dr. Diane Halpern, a professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College and lead author of the Institute of Education Sciences practice guide Encouraging Girls in Math and Science. She discussed what research says about supporting girls in science and math classrooms through strategies such as project-based learning, use of technology, and group work on real-world problems. After Halpern’s address, I attended a panel discussion by teachers that focused on applying the research findings to support girls’ pursuit of STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) careers. After lunch, I had time to work on action steps for my classroom and to learn more about the mini-grants offered by the Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project. The afternoon concluded with a panel of women working in STEM professions, reflecting on what motivated them to follow this career path. The event was sponsored by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Institute of Education Sciences, Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project, and the Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

Overall, great day! As a teacher, it’s hard to leave your classroom sometimes but this was a very worthwhile day. 🙂 Follow this link if you’d like to download the practice guide, What Does Research Tell Us About How to Encourage Girls in Math and Science.


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