STEM for One, STEM for All!

Who Currently Works in STEM Fields?Image result for white men scientist

As of now, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are dominated by white males. While this may be changing year by year, it is our jobs as science educators to get all students interested at an early age. STEM fields are not for one, but for all!

People of all genders, races, abilities, and ethnicities are capable of doing great things in STEM fields, and there is no reason for these fields to be excluding minority groups.

Image result for stem

So, What’s the Evidence?

According to, an organization dedicated to women’s success in the workplace, women:

  • Make up only 28.8% of the scientific research and development careers globally
  • Are most likely to leave STEM careers
    • Over 53% of women leave careers in STEM, while only 31% of men leave
  • Only make up for 12.2% of board members for the STEM industry
  • Earn only 79.2% of what a man in the same STEM occupation would earn yearly

This video provides more statistics and a few reasons as to why women are so underrepresented in STEM fields. Take a look!

According to, racial minorities are also incrediblyImage result for black scientist underrepresented. Racial minorities:

  • Make up over 31% of the United States population, but only 11% of STEM occupation
  • Are incredibly likely to leave STEM careers
  • Report wanting to go into a STEM field just as much as their white counterparts, but often switch at the K-12 or university level

University of Delaware published research stating that people with disabilitiesImage result for scientists with disabilities

  • Make up for 13.4% of the United States population
  • Only occupy 2% of all doctoral positions in STEM subjects, and even less careers in STEM
  • Include both invisible and visible disabilities, such as cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities

What Can We As Educators Do to Stop This Nonsense? provides many methods to get students of all genders, races, and abilities involved and interested in STEM at an early age:Image result for stem clubs

  • STEM subjects should be introduced at the elementary school level through exciting experiments and demonstrations
  • Projects in STEM must be made relevant to everybody
  • Teachers must provide encouragement for all students to join STEM clubs, classes, et cetera
  • At the large scale, society’s perception of who takes part in STEM careers must change

Motivating STEM in the Chemistry Classroom

Chemistry is a complex science that luckily involves lots of mathematics and technology. In the chemistry classroom, many aspects of STEM are used even unintentionally. These provide great opportunities to get adolescents interested in STEM! Chemistry teachers can:

  • Incorporate a computer program such as a phET Simulation into the curriculum; these simulations often are used to explain a phenomenon at the particulate level
  • Have individual meetings with students about their strengths and interests in STEM classes
  • Become an advisor for a local STEM club and recruit all groups of students in their classes
  • Have students research a minority chemist and present their findings, as well as elaborate on why this research project was important
    • What were their setbacks?
    • What did they contribute to chemistry?
    • How do you relate to them, if at all?



  1. Thanks Delaina! I appreciate your positivity. I think it is really important to motivate students in our classrooms even if they are not interested in the subject we may be teaching; like you had described about the student who likes math. This is why it is so important to include all STEM subjects in our science classrooms. Doing this allows for us to find students’ interests within or outside of the subject we teach. Once we can find that spark within them, we can work to apply that subject to the things we do within the classroom. For instance, in my chemistry classroom I expect to teach a lot of stoichiometry, which involves a lot of math. I would have the math lovers in the classroom make word problems or set ups with everyday items to help the students who may be struggling a bit. Even if they didn’t love the chemistry, they would get to play with the math itself and learn from that!

  2. Hello Kate,
    I have found that even though not every student is interested in STEM, they may be interested in certain parts of STEM. I talked with a high schooler that doesn’t like science, but likes math. I believe these people should also be encouraged to go into STEM fields as well. They can bring their strengths to it as well. The statistics that you showed are actually quite depressing. I also looked at the catalyst website, but I didn’t use it for my blog. I looked for another site. You are correct. There is a scarcity of minorities and women in the STEM fields. I read that many women have degrees in STEM, but don’t go in that field. If they do, they face discrimination and lower wages. This is definately a problem. As a teacher, there are 4 things that we need to provide. I listed them in my blog. They are resources, support, opportunities, and inspiration. With these 4 components, we can gradually make the number a bit less terrifying. Great post and I like all of the statistics that you found!

    Delaina 🙂

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