Diversity in STEM matters!
Diversity is important to show those groups that are underrepresented in society that they have a place in STEM. Many communities such as Women’s and BIPOC communities are underrepresented in STEM and therefore don’t feel like they have a place in any STEM field. The graph below shows the percentage of different races in STEM careers with and without a bachelor’s degree.
The percentages were much higher for many of the races represented in the graph showing STEM careers without a bachelor’s degree. This isn’t surprising as the percentage of Latinx STEM graduates increased from 5.9 to 10.4% while Black STEM graduates decreased from 4.7 to 3.86% in 2019. (https://stemeducationjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40594-020-00241-4)
Gender – Gap
White Men are the majority of Graduates in STEM degrees worldwide. This gap in gender representation is often shown in even science programs and television shows for children. When we show children that white men can be scientists it shapes the idea of who the field is created for. This is why shows such as Emily’s Wonder Lab and Xploration Station are so beneficial. Showing women and BIPOC in STEM lead roles is a huge step in our student’s seeing themselves in STEM careers.
The gender-gap of STEM careers begin and ends in your classroom.
Edtuopia introduces some amazing steps to remember when creating an inclusive STEM classroom.
- REFLECT WHO THEY ARE
- Students need to see scientist that LOOKS LIKE THEM
- ELEVATE THEIR VOICES
- Encourage debates and questions in your classroom.
- Encourage them to find ways to get involved in their communities
- Encourage self-discovery
- LEVERAGE THEIR EXPERIENCES
- Create STEM experiences and projects for students to see and work through
- Use REAL-WORLD experiences to bring the science to life
- START WITH THEIR TEACHER: YOU
- Recongnize your unconscious biases and adjust your teaching to contradict those biases.
- Remember you are human and biases will happen. How we address those biases is where change happens
- BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE
- Diversity is extremely important!
- Representation is the first step in closing the race and gender gap in STEM
- Encourage Women and BIPOC students to pursue their passions without limitations Especially in STEM
- Be inclusive within your classroom examples
- Allow student to see themselves represented in STEM
- Recognize you unconscious biases and address them head on
- BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE
WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITY TO GIVE OUR STUDENTS EVERY OPPURTUNITY POSSIBLE