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Encouraging girls in math and science

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Replies to: Encouraging girls in math and science

  • scansmomscansmom 1534 replies19 threads Senior Member
    "Toys et al available to young kids. We do not own guns, never bought any toy ones for son et al. Anything longer than it was wide could become a gun for him and his young friends- think Duplos... "

    Duplos and Legos--great toys to develop spatial abilities in budding engineers (no matter what they do with them!!) At age 3 my own budding engineer used to build cemetaries...his day care freaked (he was an early talker so could tell them exactly what he was building)
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  • wis75wis75 14393 replies65 threads Senior Member
    When we downsized I kept the Duplos and Legos while giving away just about everything else. Dismantled various Legos spacecraft that had gathered dust in his closet for several years. I had purchased some buckets of both and he also had specific item sets. Later I noticed the buckets didn't seem available as when son was of the age. Wish I could have had them as a kid.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9473 replies83 threads Senior Member
    "Since when is a person who wears wash-n-go clothes to be praised? " - They should neither to be praised nor shunned (assuming all is clean and respectful). It's a matter of personal preference,. We should assess people by what they say or do, not what they wear.

    My post that prompted the quote was intentionally a bit judgmental (sorry). That was mostly to give a flip side view and get people thinking.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    My post that prompted the quote was intentionally a bit judgmental (sorry). That was mostly to give a flip side view and get people thinking.
    If you say so...:)

    "Your" beliefs on people's personal appearance is not uncommon in the engineering field or some parts of STEM. It's a trivial belief and is only detrimental to those whole don't fit the box.
    edited July 2014
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  • mcat2mcat2 5871 replies115 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    We bought a lot of "construction" toys (Duplos, Legos, Tinker Toys, and just those heavy maple blocks from Brio) when DS was a preschooler. As a young boy, he played wide varieties of (Nintendo) video games (including many Role Playing and Sim games) as well. It seems many of the (early year 2-D) role playing games require a good skills of remembering where you are at while playing the game (it is quite a large virtual world.) He was later interested in computer hard disk music recording - and those electronic music gears (but not much into programming.)

    He does not become an engineer though.

    Re: "Sorry" and a difference in gender:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/women-apologize-more-frequently-tha-10-09-25/

    "Researchers analyzed the number of self-reported offences and apologies made by 66 subjects over a 12-day period. And yes, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men did. But they also found that women report more offenses than men. So the issue is not female over-apology. Instead, there may be a gender difference in what is considered offensive in the first place."
    edited July 2014
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  • gouf78gouf78 7892 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Or maybe women are more passive-aggressive. Hence the taking offense and "oh, sorry" response.
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  • dadxdadx 2644 replies9 threads Senior Member
    http://www.math.ias.edu/wam/2014

    Its a bit beyond the normal boundaries surrounding discussions like this, but the above link shows special programs for women even at the highest levels of the discipline. It would be interesting to hear more about the women who attend, and their experiences and backgrounds.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    When "Oh, sorry" is said it's generally not in a passive-aggressive way. It's more "I'm sorry." when a woman accidentally goes the same way as the person in front of them. Or "I'm sorry" when they were laughing really loud and a person looked at them. Or "I'm sorry" when the enter a room and those who were talking stop. I could go on and on. With that commercial it made me realize I apologize for a lot of things I don't need to.
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  • ThreesdadThreesdad 544 replies2 threads Member
    When younger, the child would come running when dad got out the power tools, screw gun or roto-zip to fix or fit something together - not so much now.

    She is strong in math but engineering holds little appeal for her " why should I work that hard in math and get an engineering degree when I can study Economics or math and go to work on Wall St and make a lot more money."

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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    She is strong in math but engineering holds little appeal for her " why should I work that hard in math and get an engineering degree when I can study Economics or math and go to work on Wall St and make a lot more money."
    Because the upside potential is huge. How many Wall Streeteers were billionaire overnight like the WhatsApp guy. The lifestyle is also much more relaxing, there is always need for more engineers than Wall Streeteers. And last but not least, check the youngest billionaires under 30 list, mostly high tech entrepreneurs. How is that for an answer?
    edited July 2014
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    You couldn't pay me enough to work on Wall Street.
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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    Plus there is a pyramid structure at Wall Street, the top is very small.
    edited July 2014
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  • dadxdadx 2644 replies9 threads Senior Member
    You couldn't pay me enough to work on Wall Street.

    I feel that way about activists.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    No one could pay you enough to be an activist? That's...telling.
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  • dadxdadx 2644 replies9 threads Senior Member
    And true......... although I don't really have to worry. No one is recruiting me for it, and I don't really have the skills (or hold the beliefs) that it demands.:)

    I think that applies to many of us who couldn't be paid enough to do certain things.
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  • BestfriendsgirlBestfriendsgirl 931 replies4 threads Member
    You couldn't pay me enough to work on Wall Street.
    You couldn't pay me enough to do anything remotely related to STEM. That's why I hate these "girls and STEM" threads so much. I think all kids should be encouraged in the academic disciplines in which their talents lie. If that's a STEM field, fine. If not, that's fine too. IMHO, many girls are getting STEM shoved at them like teaching and nursing (technically a STEM field) were 40 years ago, and in it's own way, it's just as bad. We forget that some girls (and boys) are just not STEM people, never have been and never will be.
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    You could not pay me enough to live in NYC. No chance to work on Wall Street then.
    On the other hand there is NO such thing as no STEM people. It is the same as saying that there some who cannot learn English. While it is true, we are talking about average able kids. Among people who are able to learn English or any other language, every single one could learn math and sciences if they ar5e taught correctly which is done in many many places (abroad) outside of the USA. Just pay attention to those exchange students. Despite of poor English, they are ususally placed in the advanced math / science classes. Is it accident? Nope it is normal usual pricatice that everybody is aware at the schools that have exchange students. So, as long as you deal with regular ordinary human brain, it could be trained in math / science in the same way as it is trained in language. So, the blame is on the very poor k - 12 program and a poorly trained teachers. No special ability is required if you are not talking about genius level, and we are not. Just the same ordinary ability as required in language and the language skills are by far much more complicated than math and sciences.
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  • PhantomVirgoPhantomVirgo 1051 replies37 threads Senior Member
    A lot of STEM fields women I know are not at all "girly". They wear their hair very short and wash-and-wear. They dress in jeans, etc, and often don't wear makeup. Whether they are afraid of not being taken seriously or are just expressing their natural personalities, I don't know.

    I can't speak for all women in STEM of course, but for me personally I've always been like this. Most of the girls I know in CS are like this too, but for the ones that aren't nobody honestly cares in my experience. Past the intro classes, your peers care way more about being able to perform the task at hand than your appearance or gender.

    Anyway, just some anecdotes from a woman double majoring in CS and linguistics:

    I've always shown interest in science more than the humanities, besides the fact that I liked writing, languages (the structural aspects much more than the cultural or just speaking the language), and music. Of which, writing and music are both hobbies for me and I ended up with one of my majors in linguistics, so it's not like I abandoned those interests. But I digress.

    I wouldn't say I was either discouraged or encouraged by my parents to go into STEM. My parents were the type where they didn't particularly care what my interests were; so long as it wasn't destructive, they supported any interests that I showed and are doing the same thing with my younger sister. Being as most of that interest ended up in STEM, naturally they encouraged that. But they weren't doing it specifically.

    In my family, very few actually go to college. Neither of my parents went to college, so when I told them I was interested in going they were much more excited about that choice than they were expecting a particular major (I went in as linguistics). When I decided to add on a CS major after taking a few classes, they couldn't have been more supportive. Actually, now that I think about it, from most people I've gotten way more encouragement for continuing CS than I have any kind of discouragement.

    As far as group projects, the only classes where I've encountered issues (I'm a rising junior, for the record) were the intro classes. In those cases, I had some guys, though still a minority, ignoring me and other girls because, well, obviously we're only taking the class for GE credit and to impress guys, right? We couldn't possibly be taking the class because we actually think it's interesting... Some of them kept that attitude, then after a couple quarters ended up dropping out of the major. Any others that were doing it and stuck around quickly adjusted their attitude when they realized that yes, some girls are legitimately interested in this stuff. By the time I was a few classes in it got to the point of "you would only go this far if you were actually interested and had some clue what you were doing", regardless of who it was, so people generally don't think twice about a girl (or two, or three) in their group at that point. As I mentioned above, by the time you're past the "weeders" your peers care far more about you being able to do what you need to do than anything else. I don't know, maybe that'll change in the next two years of classes. I'm guessing it won't change very much, though.

    It may be worth noting that I spent most of my childhood in the San Jose area, so even if my parents weren't in STEM related careers I had several friends whose parents were both engineers.
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  • BestfriendsgirlBestfriendsgirl 931 replies4 threads Member
    On the other hand there is NO such thing as no STEM people. It is the same as saying that there some who cannot learn English.
    Maybe, but that doesn't mean they have to like it or make it their career.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    From my understanding, the push for girls into STEM isn't just for ALL girls, but for those who have the aptitude and interest.
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