By Valeria Leonardi
Chief Operating Officer, Primo Toys
In our rapidly evolving world, it has never been more important for kids to get to grips with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. Girls begin with the same enthusiasm and abilities as boys, but by the time they get to higher education and employment a gender gap appears, with women under-represented in STEM-related fields.
The solution? It’s up to us to spark girls’ interest in STEM, and it starts young. Here are the best ideas to make STEM fun for girls.
Try these strategies with young girls and watch as their learning follows naturally from play!
5 Ways To Get Girls Excited About STEM
Seek out female role models
There’s nothing more powerful than having a real-life superhero to look up to. Is there a beloved science teacher in your daughter’s life? A relative working in tech? A friend who is a doctor? Bring them up in conversation or get together for a pep talk to open up your little one’s eyes to the reality of working in STEM. A great place to start is TED talks by female scientists speaking about their research, and looking to shape the future. Watch them together for inspiration!
Focus on gender-neutral toys
STEM involves understanding abstract concepts, but it also has innumerable practical applications. For children it’s best if we demonstrate theoretical concepts in tangible ways from an early age such as setting up easy science experiments to cultivate a sense of wonder about the natural world. Try making ice cubes with food coloring and watch them melt in the bath to illustrate freezing and melting or set up a simple baking soda and vinegar volcano science project no child can resist.
Join a group
Humans are social creatures, and more likely to engage in a pursue a passion with like-minded individuals. This remains a constant throughout our lives, and we can tap into the instinct from an early age. After-school coding clubs or science activities at museums and are great places to start, and there are resources online to help you set up your own local STEM group for your girl’s group of friends. As tech advocate and mother Randi Zuckerberg says, to make technology accessible to everyone, our best tactic is to start young.
Celebrate International Women’s Day
Show your solidarity on social media for movements like #CodingGirls and #BeBoldForChange. Let’s show girls that change is possible, and they are as capable as the boys sitting next to them in class. After all, gender equality equates to a better world for everyone. Be part of the change!
Valeria Leonardi is COO at Primo Toys. She is a mother and tech entrepreneur with a huge passion for early learning education. Primo Toys is the maker of Cubetto, a gender-neutral toy that teaches girls and boys to code through hands-on play. Find out more PrimoToys.com
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