Bridging the STEM Gender Gap in the Classroom

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by Laura Pearson

@laurapearson1

Despite scoring higher than their male peers in problem solving related to engineering and technology, girls continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields. While this is an issue well beyond the scope of an individual classroom, teachers have an important role to play in balancing the STEM gender gap.

Throughout elementary and high school, girls participate in science and math at approximately the same rate as boys, with some exceptions. While girls are just as likely as boys to take advanced classes in mathematics and chemistry, they’re less likely to enroll in computer science or engineering courses. And that same trend carries over to higher education.

Although the overall statistics look roughly equitable, with women earning 50.3 percent of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees, women’s participation varies significantly across different fields. While women account for more than half of all bachelor’s degrees in the biological sciences, they only receive 17.9 percent of computer science degrees, 19.3 percent of engineering degrees, 39 percent of physical science degrees, and 43.1 percent of mathematics degrees, despite representing nearly 57 percent of all college students.

According to Scholastic, girls’ participation in science starts dropping off in junior high, and the trend continues into high school and college. Since data shows that the difference isn’t in ability, researchers believe there’s something else at play. The National Science Foundation suggests much of the STEM gender gap can be attributed to a sense of belonging; specifically, that a lack of exposure to successful women in STEM causes girls to doubt their own abilities and opt for fields with larger proportions of women instead.

Elementary, middle, and high school teachers play a critical role in keeping girls in STEM.
By intervening before a stereotype threat takes hold, it’s possible to build girls’ confidence and keep them on track toward in-demand careers. Rather than teaching girls in a different way than boys, teachers should craft an approach that makes STEM welcoming and accessible to all. Here are a few ideas to get started:

1. Highlight potential career paths in STEM. Students can’t always connect the schoolwork in front of them to its real-world applications; even if they do understand its value, they likely aren’t aware of the full scope of career options available to them.

2. Incorporate lessons about accomplished female scientists and engineers in curricula. Research shows that exposure to same-gender experts provides girls with a sense of belonging. Rather than restricting lessons to historic women like Marie Curie, discuss women who are making a difference in today’s world.

3. When planning cooperative exercises, distribute class groups to have an equal balance of boys and girls. Assigning at least two girls to a group eliminates the feeling of being outnumbered, which can encourage increased participation.

4. Make sure lesson plans around STEM topics don’t only include stereotypically masculine topics. At the same time, teachers shouldn’t cater exclusively to female students and risk alienating males. Instead, opt for topics with broad appeal and real life relevancy. For example, a lesson plan that bridges a popular career with math, science, English, social studies and home economics skills. For more ideas, try Science Buddies’ topic selection wizard.

Diversity is essential for producing innovation in science and technology. When STEM fields draw upon a broad pool of perspectives and life experiences to solve complex problems, progress is made that much faster. When it comes to girls in STEM, the problem isn’t ability, but rather persistence in a field where they’re the minority. Overcoming the challenges of being a woman in STEM requires girls to feel confident about their place in science and engineering, and teachers are primed to plant those seeds of success.

Image via Unsplash

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A New School Year

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by Intern

Well, a new school year is upon us. All 4 One Tutoring is prepping for another awesome and meaningful school for our clients and potential clients. We are so excited!

We began to test our iPads, tablets, and headphones. They get the most usage in our after-school program. We do so many engaging and enriching activities with them!

Testing, testing

Collaboration

Pairing activities not only engages students, but they also show how students can support on another to complete a task or assignment.

Pairing activity

School Supplies

For those school-aged clients who participated in our summer learning tutoring, we supplied them with a back-to-school package. We want to send them starting the new school year on the right foot.

Supplies

All 4 One Tutoring LLC 's mission is to educate and empower those who want to have a positive social change and succeed to the best of his or her ability.

Blended Learning

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by Dr. Charice Hayes 


What is blended learning? 

Blended learning is traditional teaching combined with digital media or online learning. I like to also refer to this type of learning as “hybrid” learning. 

Why use blended learning?

  • Research suggests that blended learning is more effective than learning in a traditional setting. 
  • Blended learning improves digital literacy, along with online learning skills. 
  • Some teachers/professors are using flip learning
  • Blended learning aligns with college and workplace readiness. 

How can you transform a traditional classroom into a blended classroom? 

  • You can use online videos to supplement instruction. 
  • You can use the flipped learning model.
  • You can incorporate chats and discussion boards. 
  • You can use software such as Socrative.com.

What are your thoughts on blended learning? Please share your thoughts. 

Growth 

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by CEO Charice Wofford

As I sit here and think, in October of 2011, All 4 One Tutoring LLC was formed literally from my home office in my basement. When we were formed, we were strictly an online tutoring business that mainly focused on language learning and test prep with international clients. We then began to offer online tutoring services in other subject areas to people all over the world including the United States. 

During the next couple of years, we began to offer private face-to-face tutoring in Baltimore City and County. A year later, we began to offer the same service in Charleston, South Carolina. This was an exciting time for us. 

Since then, we continued to expand our brand and services through partnerships made possible through our wonderful board members. Those services include after-school programming, professional development and training, and writing services. With the growth, the company needed an official office. So, we opened up an office location in Pikesville, Maryland early 2015. In addition, we are looking to become an approved testing site for CASAS (Comprehesive Adult Student Assessment System). We hold sessions, trainings, and meetings at our office location.

With all of my hard work, dedication, and support systems (board members, family, and friends), I am truly elated with the growth All 4 One Tutoring LLC has experienced. All 4 One Tutoring LLC has been recognized two years in a row by the Baltimore Recogntion Program for “schools and instruction” and “educational services.” We also made it to the site visit stage for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in 2015. I just received a message that we have been chosen as a semi-finalist for a small business grant.(Vote for us) 

  
As we continue to grow, what’s more important are the clients that we service and have serviced. Their growth is our growth!! Each client that is serviced, is our drop in the bucket of positive social change.   

 

Using Real-Life Situations in Education

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By intern 

In education, real-life or world situations are important. Teaching and applying real-life situation make content easier to understand and enjoyable. Once a learner is able to connect a real-life situation with prior knowledge, the material is more receptive and understood. 

In the content of math, we’ve found a couple of websites that explore math through real-life situations. 

Real World Math

RealWorldMath.org provides lessons that build on traditional classroom instruction by providing students with real-life or world scenarios that engage them in the application of concepts combined with problem-solving. The lessons are technology based. 

TedEd
The YouTube based learning platform has a series titled “Math in Real Life.”  The “Find and Flip” feature of TedED allows users to easily create customized lesson around any YouTube video. In a video titled “Time is money,” German Nande explains the math behind interest rates, revealing the equation that will allow you to calculate the future value of your money. 

Connecting real-life situations with subject area content is a great way to connect learners’ prior knowledge. This would allow learners to be receptive to material and understand material.  

  

2015 Year in Review 

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by Charice Wofford, CEO

  
It’s been another fabulous year for All 4 One Tutoring.  This past year, we’ve diversified and expanded our company and programming. Within the first few months of 2015, we established an office in the Pikesville, Maryland area.  At our office location, we provide tutoring and training. 

In the summer of 2015, we were able to run a summer tutoring program. We also added new tutors to our family this past summer. The summer of 2015 was spectacular. 

During the last quarter of 2015, All 4 One Tutoring formed a partnership with another educational company in India. We’re looking forward to great things in 2016 with this partnership. 

Our after-school program continues to get praise by administrators, community leaders, and parents. This school year, we initiated more project-driven instruction and projects. We are looking forward to finishing the school year with a field trip to a STEM center. How exciting!!!! 

Last but not least, for a second year in a row, we’ve been recognized as the best in Baltimore for “educational services.” We would like to thank the Baltimore Recognition Program for such a prestigious honor. Being the owner of such a blossoming and empowering organization is such an honor. We are proof that when we work together to achieve a shared goal, we can expand quality education and learning so that everyone can strive for positive social change. We have more plans underway for 2016!!!!

  

Here’s a look at what’s coming in 2016:

-more partnerships (international and nationwide)

-becoming an approved testing site for CASAS testing (for adult education)

-offering more training and workshops 

I’d like to thank everyone who has had a positive impact and who has supported All 4 One Tutoring. Together we can reach the goal of educational EMPOWERMENT.