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Empowerment and Collaboration: STEM Workshops for Girls, by Girls

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Participate and share : Poster


Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–5:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Arantxa Godinez  
Amaya Dominguez  
Fernanda Marcín  
Ana Paula Ferragut  
Ana Sofía Cárdenas  
Macarena De Luna  
Camila Harp  
Regina Gonzalez de Cossio  

Learn about the creation of a STEM workshop for girls, by girls. Let third-grade girls in collaboration with 11th-grade girls interested in STEM areas tell you about being part of a STEM sorority by creating a workshop geared toward third-graders.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, ESL
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

According to National Girls Collaborative Project, only 28% of the workforce in STEM is constituted by women (2018). Out of all the people who hold an early career doctorate in STEM, only 3.6% are Latinas (NGCP, 2018) and, specifically in Mexico, up to 62% of Engineering bachelor degree students are men (INEGI, 2018). Women are underrepresented within S&E environments, to say the least, and when few of them do choose to undergo that path, they encounter with few mentors and earnings that measure up to 89 cents per every dollar earned by a man (Busso, 2017). With several studies explaining the high importance and benefits of a diverse task force (McMahon, 2010), it seems baffling nothing is being done to remedy this.

In Mexico, when students reach 12th grade it’s mandatory for them to choose from four specialized areas, the first one of them having to do with STEM, where, as expected, you can find a larger male population. Therefore, our project’s STEM Workshop is bred from the need to fill these gaps and give girls the motivation and sense of belonging they need to embark upon a STEM-related path.

In this project, 3rd grade elementary girls were paired up with 11th grade teenage girls; together, they chose the most engaging topics of the Science curriculum for 3rd grade. Through Design Thinking (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test) they created a one-hour session based on a real life problem/application that would excite and interest their peers.

The STEM’s Workshop as a whole was carried out with one session per week, where each was taught by one pair. Students presented a problem, the knowledge needed to solve it, and promoted scientific thinking to come to a solution. All of this, using Apple Creation Tools due to the 1:1 iPad program Highlands Institute has developed.

The STEM Workshop seeks to generate:

IN ISTE ATENDEES:
Curiosity as to why so many girls are being left behind in the path towards a professional life in STEM
A consequential urge to figure out what can be done about it.
An insight into how collaboration in peer teaching/learning is beneficial to everyone involved and the crucial role technology plays within these non-traditional methodologies.
An experience that will testify to the great potential women have in STEM-related scopes.

IN 3rd GRADE GIRLS:
A deeper understanding of their Science curriculum and its applications in everyday life.
A sense of belonging to a School STEM Community that welcomes them from a young age.
The certitude that there are spots open for them within the STEM ambits and the conviction to occupy them.
The development of SEL competencies that will allow them to work collaboratively and effectively with people with different ages.

IN 11th GRADE GIRLS:
- A feeling of certainty concerning their career counseling; the reassurance of their calling.
A sense of community by helping other girls become a part of their chosen STEM path.
The ability to scale their own knowledge to make it understandable and engaging for a younger audience.
The development of SEL competencies that will allow them to work collaboratively and effectively with people with different ages.

The evidence of success was the fruitful implementation of the STEM Workshop, where we got to see all of these abilities play in action. Students who were in charge of teaching were engaged and motivated, while the learning students were excited and active. The most wonderful part of it, by far, has been to see the positive outcomes of STEM work with girls and the flourishing of their scientific thinking.The ultimate objective of the project is to create a global sisterhood where girls from all over the world feel inspired and empowered to replicate this STEM Workshop to make more learning communities grow.

Supporting research

Busso, M. (2017). Women Close Gender Pay Gap in Two STEM Jobs, Lag in Others. Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-women-stem-jobs/

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía [INEGI]. (2018). Women and Men in Mexico 2018. Retrieved from http://cedoc.inmujeres.gob.mx/documentos_download/MHM_2018.pdf

McMahon, A. (2010). Does Workplace Diversity Matter? A Survey Of Empirical Studies On Diversity And Firm Performance, 2000-09. Journal of Diversity Management, 5(2), 37-48. Retrieved from https://clutejournals.com/index.php/JDM/article/view/808/792

National Girls Collaborative Project [NGCP] (2018). The State Of Girls and Women on STEM. Retrieved from https://ngcproject.org/sites/default/files/ngcp_the_state_of_girls_and_women_in_stem_2018a.pdf

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Presenters

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Arantxa Godinez, Highlands International School
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Amaya Dominguez, Highlands International School Mexico
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Fernanda Marcín, Highlands International School Mexico
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Ana Paula Ferragut, Highlands International School Mexico
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Ana Sofía Cárdenas, Highlands International School Mexico
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Macarena De Luna, Highlands International School Mexico
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Camila Harp, Highlands International School Mexico
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Regina Gonzalez de Cossio, Highlands International School Mexico

Regina González de Cossío is a young teacher with a strong passion for Education, Neuroscience and Neurodevelopment. Along her 5 years of experience, she has devoted herself to implementing innovative methodologies in the classroom while teaching ESL disciplines and Science. Regina holds a Bachelors degree in Neuropsychology and a Masters Degree in Neuroeducation and Cognitive Neuroscience. She also holds qualifications on ESL teaching such as the Teachers Diploma and the Certificate for Advanced English (CAE). With this credentials, Regina's dream is to foster the use of technology to create meaningful learning experiences that promote child neurodevelopment.

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