Knoxville, Tenn. – The United States is falling behind its foreign competitors in STEM subjects, which include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. According to one study, American 15-year-olds ranked 21st in science and 25th in math compared to other countries. And for girls, the statistics are even more staggering.
The American Association of University Women found that active recruiting and positive messaging can go a long way toward shrinking the gender gap in many science and engineering fields. In a 2010 report, the association identified eight major factors that helped depress the numbers of girls and women in STEM: beliefs about intelligence, stereotypes, self-assessment, spatial skills, the college student experience, university and college faculty, implicit bias, and workplace bias.
In an attempt to address a few of these factors, the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians is partnering with the University of Tennessee for a one-day event, open to all girls in grades 6 – 8 called Gadget Girls. Registration for the April 9 event is now open.
As many as 300 middle-school aged girls will learn from female professors who are world-renowned scientists and mathematicians. The girls will work side-by-side with the professors in their laboratories, making necklaces using their own DNA, testing dollar bills to see if they are real or counterfeit, and learning to grow their own crystals from household items. Student volunteers from Kappa Delta sorority will serve as tour guides and walk the girls through campus.
Gadget Girls will be held Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 9am – 4pm. Snacks, lunch and parking will be provided. The cost is only $15 for Girl Scouts and $27 for all other girls. Tickets for accompanying adults are $10. Participants can register online at www.girlscoutcsa.org; the registration deadline is March 18, 2011. Any questions can be directed to event organizers Sherry Harris, Ext. 105 and Becky Lunsford, ext. 520 by calling (800) 474-1912.
The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians has 21,000 girl and adult members stretching from North Georgia to Southwest Virginia. Service centers are located in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Johnson City. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The council offers financial assistance to ensure that every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout has the opportunity to join this vibrant organization.