Girls are doing better when it comes to science and math. According to recent results, girls are working to bridge the gender gap in education. Right now, STEM jobs are dominated by white men, but the future could look a lot more diverse and inclusive. STEM fields include the disciplines of science, technology engineering and mathematics. STEM degrees often lead to jobs that pay well in the fields of science, innovation and technology development. So far, the overwhelming majority of the STEM workforce is male. But results at an elementary school and middle school level show promise.
Girls Are Catching Up to Boys
Girls as well as students of color are on their way to achievement in science. Efforts to put stereotypes behind and encourage girls to take an interest in science and math have yielded positive results.
This Thursday we got to take a look at the results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress science exams for the year 2015. When looking at the data, female students in fourth and in eighth grade are gaining ground. For the fourth grade, the performance of the girls is almost on par with that of the boys. There is still some distance and, especially in upper grades, male students seem to do better.
The NAEP exams cover disciplines like math, science, reading and writing. The exams test a group of students that are representative nationally. They are standardized tests that are sponsored by the US Department of Education. But are administered by the National Center for Education Statistics. The statistics show how certain groups of students do compared to their peers. Which areas of the curriculum they excel at and which areas they could use more support with. The test scores are not connected to school districts. So, the teachers do not prepare their students for the NAEP exams.
The NAEP results for 2015 showed promise in bridging gaps in education. All students are making progress in science, especially in fourth and eighth grade. But some groups are moving faster towards good results.
“Minority students and girls are making greater gains to narrow these gaps. This is exactly what we like to see: all students improving, but students at the bottom of the distribution making faster gains.”
Said Peggy Carr, NCES commissioner.
The Department of Education Is Happy with the Results
The US Secretary of Education, John King Jr. was happy to comment on what good news the test scores were. He said that achievement by students in STEM fields shows that students will be ready to become “innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors”. A solid STEM background also helps with problem-solving. So, today’s students will be ready to face society’s challenges in the future, regardless of what career they choose.
The Secretary of Education mentioned the steps that the Obama administration took to promote STEM education. The investments are paying off for fourth and eighth grade students now.
“Ultimately credit for the progress that’s been made goes to students, teachers and families. And it’s their hard work that’s producing the gains in science performance.”
Said the Secretary of Education, John King Jr.
Image source: here.