Engaging Girls in STEM

Exemplary Practice Research on Engaging Girls in STEM
The following publications summarize research focused on what works to engage and support girls in STEM. These publications distill the existing research and provide it in user-friendly formats to inform programming, reference in presentations, and cite when writing proposals or seeking other types of program support.

The SciGirls Seven
The SciGirls PBS television series, website, and outreach initiatives emphasize current research on strategies proven to increase girls’ engagement in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies that work, and these have become SciGirls' foundation. The SciGirls Seven summarizes seven research-based strategies for engaging girls in STEM, including tips for putting these strategies to practice and references for additional information.

Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
This research report, published by AAUW, provides in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers that continue to block women’s participation and progress in STEM. The report also includes up to date statistics on girls' and women's achievement and participation in these areas and offers ideas for practitioners working to engage girls in STEM.

Encouraging Girls in Math and Science
This IES (Institute of Education Sciences) Practice Guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education, presents evidence-based advice to practitioners working to encourage girls in mathematics and science. The Guide provides five recommendations for encouraging girls in mathematics and science, including the level of evidence to support each recommendation and guidance for carrying out each recommendation.

Evaluating Promising Practices in Informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education for Girls
This research report, published by the Girl Scouts of the USA, identifies promising practices in informal STEM education for girls based on a review of relevant literature and a survey of current STEM programs for girls. The report also includes real world examples of these practices, provided by the girl-serving STEM programs included in the study.

Effective STEM Programs for Adolescent Girls: Three Approaches and Many Lessons Learned
This article, published in Afterschool Matters, describes three successful programs to engage adolescent girls in STEM: Techbridge, Girls Go Techbridge, and Access for Young Women. Effective strategies implemented by the programs include developing collaborations, creating an engaging and relevant curriculum, and inspiring career exploration.

Girls, Equity and STEM in Informal Learning Settings: A Review of the Literature
This report, published by Girls RISEnet, summarizes current literature related to engaging girls in STEM in informal learning environments, including museums and science centers. Implications for practice and research are also discussed. 

Girls in IT: The Facts
This report, sponsored by theNational Center for Women & Information Technology's K-12 Alliance, summarizes the existing literature on girls' participation in computing, including key barriers to girls' participation and promising practices for addressing these barriers.

Program Models and Resources
NGCP uses the following criteria to identify high-quality program models and resources. NGCP looks for program models and resources that include at least three of the four criteria. Practitioners are encouraged to use the criteria  when reviewing and identifying potential program models and resources to use in their own programs.

  1. Replicable/Scalable
    a. Program resource must be replicable in other geographic areas, communities, and situations. Program should not be dependent on access to a specific local resource such as a science museum, university, corporate headquarters, or geographic features unless such resources can be widely found in other areas.
    b. Resources should be provided/shared free or at very low cost. Ideally program information should be available online.
    c. Resources should be usable across cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.
    d. Program resource should be appropriate to scale or replicate to serve increasing numbers of girls. Required tools should not limit scalability.
  2. Research Based
    Program resource should include research and evaluation of the effectiveness, or alternately, be based upon established promising practices in informal STEM education for girls.
  3. Evidence of Success
    Program should have documented success/outcomes evidenced by participant, parent and/or staff evaluations and/or program evaluation data.
  4. Girl Centered
    Though resources designed for boys and girls are not automatically excluded, programs should have a clear focus on serving/attracting girls and/or use methodology based upon promising practices for educating girls in STEM disciplines. 

Webinars
The following webinars present exemplary practices, program models and resources for engaging girls in STEM. The webinars are archived and can be accessed at any time and the accompanying powerpoint slides are also available for download.

The SciGirls Seven: Strategies to Engage Girls in STEM

Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Engaging in Science; Enhancing Gender Awareness

Inspiring Girls in Science and Engineering: Interactive Program Models and Resources

You Can Make a Difference: Learn How to Plan Role Model Visits and Field Trips to Inspire Girls in Technology, Science, and Engineering