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STEM News Roundup: Study Finds Young Girls Start Doubting Their Intelligence by Age 6

STEM News Roundup: Study Finds Young Girls Start Doubting Their Intelligence by Age 6

An Australian study found that if girls increased their confidence, an estimated 75 percent more women would be working in STEM professions. That's how dramatic, the researchers said, gender bias is particularly when looking at the male-dominated careers in the realm of STEM. 

Now, new research from the University of Illinois has found further evidence that the gender biases girls are exposed to in society result in them doubting their own intelligence capabilities.

According to The Atlantic, when 240 children aged 5-7 were presented images of two males and two females and asked to describe there attributes, the younger ages in the group were more likely to associate terms like brilliant and smart with their own gender.

However, while boys in the older groups were more likely to associate intelligence with their gender, girls in the older groups underwent a change. Instead of picking women, they began to instead pick men.

In this same study, boys and girls were also given a choice to play one of two games: one for children who are "really, really smart" and another for children who "try really, really hard."

"At the age of 5, girls and boys were equally attracted to both games. But among those aged 6 or older, the girls were less interested than the boys in the game for smart kids (but not the one for hard-working ones)," The Atlantic said.

According to researchers, these findings indicate a need to keep looking at how girls think of themselves and society—in hopes of one day getting them to believe they're equally capable of any and all careers.

"Brilliant women exist, like Rosalind Franklin, Shirley Jackson, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, and Katherine G. Johnson, whose story is popularized in Hidden Figures. We need to be talking about them more," said Sarah Eddy from Florida International University to The Atlantic.

Read the full story.

U.K. Looks to U.S. to Staff Math, Science Teachers

For the first time in decades, the U.K. is looking overseas to staff math and science teachers to help its goal of strengthening STEM learning.

The international recruitment strategy is aiming to recruit at least 50 math and science teachers from nearby countries like Poland, Germany and the not-so-close U.S.

If you're interested, getting started is easier than you might think.

"Currently, teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S., as well as in the European Union, are allowed to register to obtain qualified teacher status in England," said the Daily Mail.

Read the full story.

Institutions Receive Funding to Improve STEM Education in Early Learning

Ten institutions will receive more than $2.4 million in funding from 110Kin10 to use with the goal of improving STEM education in early learning grades.

Examples of winning institutions include the New York Botanical Garden, the University of New Hampshire, and Silicon Valley nonprofit ignited.

Part of what's called the Early Childhood STEM Learning Challenge, it's designed to "encourage experimentation and support active STEM learning in Pre-K to third grade education" while helping "the grant recipients 'beta test' their solutions for up to two years," said 110Kin10.

"In addition to financial support, grantees will engage in an ongoing learning community using the latest research in improvement sciences and receive support from researchers and field experts led by the 100Kin10 Research and Innovation Team."

Read more about 110Kin10's latest efforts to improve STEM education here.

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