BREAKING THE STEM STEREOTYPE

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The issue of female underrepresentation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields has been a major area of concern to researchers over the past 50 years. According to the National Science Foundation, the fields of computer science and engineering are still overwhelmingly male.  Women’s participation in engineering and computer science remains below 30%. In the past 10 years, both the number and proportion of computer sciences bachelor’s degrees earned by women has declined. In the professional world, women make up less than 15% of engineers and only 25% of computer and math scientists

As an educator and child development researcher, I believe the issue of women’s underrepresentation in STEM starts long before women enter the career world. Like most child development specialists, I believe that early experiences are critical to success later in life. We need to expose girls to quality STEM content as they are growing up and exploring their identities and interests. While they are still gaining confidence in their abilities and still deciding what they are “good at” and what they enjoy.

In my work, I look at the impact of stereotypes on girls' interest and performance in STEM beginning in early childhood. I also research the best tools, curricula, and other strategies for engaging girls in STEM. You can learn more about my research in my new book Breaking the STEM Stereotype or my checking out some of my projects and resources below!

MY RESEARCH

In my work, I look at the impact of stereotypes on girls' interest and performance in STEM beginning in early childhood. I also research the best tools, curricula, and other strategies for engaging girls in STEM. You can learn more about my research in my book Breaking the STEM Stereotype or by checking out some of my projects and resources below! 

 

  • Learn about my research in collaboration with the DevTech Research Group on robotics and gender here.

  • I also recently worked on exciting research with a start-up called Joulez, Inc., a company that creates fun, fashionable gadgets that encourages girls ages 8-12 to explore engineering and programming in order to build their confidence and competence in STEM. 

Below are my recent publications that have to do with gender stereoptypes and engaging girls in STEM. For a full list of my publications on all topics, please visit my publications page.

  • Sullivan, A. (2020). STEM Tools, Games, and Products to Engage Girls in Pre-K through Early Elementary School. Technological Horizons in Education (THE). 

  • Sullivan, A. (2019). Supporting Girls' STEM Confidence & Competence: 7 Tips for Early Childhood Educators. EdTech Review. 

  • Sullivan, A. (2019). Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood. Rowman & Littlefield. 

  • Sullivan, A. (2017). Breaking Gender Stereotypes Through Early Exposure to Robotics. Education Week: Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12. 

  • Sullivan, A. & Bers, M.U. (2019).  VEX Robotics Competitions: Gender differences in student attitudes and experiences. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 18, 97-112. 

  • Sullivan, A. & Bers, M.U. (2018). Investigating the use of robotics to increase girls' interest in engineering during early elementary school. International Journal of Technology and Design Education.

  • Sullivan, A & Bers, M.U. (2018). The impact of teacher gender on girls’ performance on programming tasks in early elementary school. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice.

  • Sullivan, A. & Bers, M.U. (2016). Girls, Boys, and Bots: Gender Differences in Young Children's Performance on Robotics and Programming Tasks. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 15,145-165 

  • Sullivan, A., & Bers, M. U. (2013). Gender differences in kindergarteners' robotics and programming achievement. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(3), 691-702

SELECTED WEBINARS & PRESENTATIONS