environmental/agricultural science, clinical laboratory technology, healthcare, information technology, engineering, robotics and computer science as targeted fields for educators to increase female participation in STEM. Given the importance of role models in shaping career choices, survey respondents considered showcasing women in STEM as an effective mechanism in drawing female students. “I would approach female professors from USF who teach biology or earth sciences to serve as speakers” noted one of the participants. Another attendee pointed to the Great American Teach-In as a useful resource “I will involve them by having them come in and speak to my class, model lessons, and share careers that use their skills set.”
encouraging, challenging and empowering girls. To that end, educators suggested offering on-site training for educators, starting an “all girls” STEM club, offering professional development workshops as helpful resources in staying current and ahead of the game. “I think having a club that gives girls one-on-one time to explore STEM careers will serve as an encouragement” noted an educator. Another said “having a poster of male and female students as scientists” has helped students identify themselves with their role models.
in the educator STEM puzzle. “I will continue to remain abreast of the current research being conducted by scientists, particularly females, which will help me to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers” noted a respondent. Some educators were inspired by the workshop to present their findings about attracting girls to STEM at the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) conference which was held in October 2013. Additionally, respondents also saw the need to highlight the array of STEM based career opportunities that are available locally and regionally.
The State of Florida has the third largest population in country, with an official 2020 estimate of 21.5 million persons and approximately 58% of the population is in the civilian labor force (12,600,000).