Girls and Women in STEM

A Never Ending Story

Edited by:
Janice Koch, Hofstra University
Barbara Polnick, Sam Houston State University
Beverly Irby, Texas A&M University

A volume in the series: Research on Women and Education. Editor(s): Beverly Irby, Texas A&M University. Janice Koch, Hofstra University.

Published 2014

Encouraging the participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) remains as vital today as it was in the 1970s. ... hence, the sub-title: “A Never Ending Story.” This volume is about ongoing advocacy on behalf of the future workforce in fields that lie on the cutting edge of society’s future. Acknowledging that deeply embedded beliefs about social and academic entitlement take generations to overcome, the editors of this volume forge forward in the knowledge that these chapters will resonate with readers and that those in positions of access will learn more about how to provide opportunities for girls and women that propel them into STEM fields. This volume will give the reader insight into what works and what does not work for providing the message to girls and women that indeed STEM fields are for them in this second decade of the 21st century. Contributions to this volume will connect to readers at all levels of STEM education and workforce participation. Courses that address teaching and learning in STEM fields as well as courses in women’s studies and the sociology of education will be enhanced by accessing this volume. Further, students and scholars in STEM fields will identify with the success stories related in some of these chapters and find inspiration in the ways their own journeys are reflected by this volume.

Introduction, Janice Koch and Beverly Irby. Part One: Stories of Girls and Women Pursuing STEM. Intersections of African American Women in STEM and Lingering Racial and Gender Bias, Catherine Martin-Dunlap and Whitney Johnson. African American Women’s Resilience in Hard Science Majors, Ezella McPherson. Reflections of Eight Latinas and the Role of Language in the Middle School Science Classroom, Carolyn Parker. Maternal Perspectives on Getting a Degree in Computer Science: Does Class Trump Race? Louise Ann Lyon. The Evolution of the Chilly Climate for Women in Science, Roxanne Hughes. Part Two: Interventions on Behalf of Girls and Women Pursuing STEM Fields. The Effect of Alternative Assessments in Natural Science on Attitudes Toward Science in Grade 8 Girls in South Africa, Nicole N. Wallace and Annemarie Hattingh. The Role of Out-of-School Time in Encouraging Girls in STEM, Merle Froschl and Barbara Sprung. STEM Summer Institute: A Model Program for Stem Integration for Girls, Crystal T. Chukwurah and Stacy S. Klein-Gardner. Robotics Programs: Inspiring Young Women in STEM, Cecilia (Ceal) D. Craig. Looking Through a Mirror With a Third Eye: Improving Mathematics Teaching in Culturally Diverse Classrooms, Sylvia Taube and Barbara Polnick. The FORWARD Program, Catherine Mavriplis, Rachelle S. Heller, Paul Sabila, and Charlene Sorensen. About the Editors. About the Contributors.

"In the edited book Girls and Women in STEM: A Never Ending Story, the contributing authors convincingly argue that despite improvements in women’s participation in STEM fields, there is still much work that needs to be done. Specifically, this book highlights the importance of considering the intersectionality of gender with race, class, and language." Debra L. Oswald and Maha Baalbaki Marquette University in PsycCRITIQUES (Read full review)

"As the story goes, if you want to teach a mule anything, first hit it in the head with a two-by-four—this will get its attention. The first half of this book, edited by Koch (Hofstra Univ.), Polnick (Sam Houston State Univ.), and Irby (Texas A&M Univ.), is about hitting readers with a metaphorical two-by-four. In report after report, contributors describe how despite decades of efforts, there are significant barriers to entry and persistence in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for women, especially women of color. Thus primed, readers are motivated to work through the second half of the book, which covers treatments that have been used with varying degrees of success. Going through this section is a fair amount of work because the writing styles of all the contributing authors are dry and academic. This book is useful for people who are thinking about taking action to help with gender balance in STEM and looking for confirmation of the extent of the problem or evidence of success for existing approaches. It is not a casual read or something directly useful for advocacy. Part of the "Research on Women and Education" series." D. J. Van Domelen Amarillo College in CHOICE

"This book is a useful review for educators, curriculum developers, and administrators at all levels in understanding the current challenges girls and women face in learning STEM disciplines in K-12 education and out-of-school time, higher education, and in the pursuit of STEM jobs. It is a reminder that we are far from equalizing the field for men and women, and that more attention must be placed on strategies that successfully engage and retain girls and women in STEM fields. It also suggests the importance of out-of-school environments, as well as the role of families and communities, to support girls, showing that not all answers must come from schools." Julia Skolnik The Franklin Institute in Science & Education

"The aim of analyzing the core purpose of contemporary universities is a highly welcome one, considering that institutions of higher education today are rapidly changing and highly exposed and susceptive to shifting political regimes of governance. These pressures interfere with the institutional autonomy they have achieved to varying degrees, depending upon the different political and historical contingencies and the social contexts they are situated in. The situation calls for differentiated and comparative analytical approaches to meet the promise of the title of the book, talking about ‘the core’ purpose and ‘the coming’ of certain threats against academic freedom." Claus Emmeche Københavns Universitet in Science & Education