At Curved House Kids, we’re passionate about engaging all children in STEM, regardless of their interests or abilities. We believe that multi-modal educational resources are a powerful tool to help make STEM accessible to students, even those who are typically not confident when it comes to maths and science. Conversely, they also help science enthusiasts to strengthen literacy, supporting crucial communication skills.
While our goal is to help empower all children in their learning, we’re keenly aware that there is a significant skills gap in the UK’s STEM workforce, of which women make up only 21% (WISE Campaign, 2016, www.wisecampaign.org.uk). By inspiring girls to engage with and enjoy STEM-learning from the time they’re in primary school, and by presenting them with a diverse range of professional STEM role models, we hope that girls will become interested in STEM careers.
To help support teachers in fostering a life-long interest in STEM, we published A Guide to Girls in STEM in 2017 in conjunction with our Principia Space Diary. This free guide provides easy-to-implement ideas for both the classroom and home learning. Written and compiled by primary educator and science specialist Claire Loizos with Curved House Kids publisher Kristen Harrison, it details five strategies to help girls succeed in STEM learning, including harnessing skills like communication, collaboration and creativity. Each strategy is accompanied by a number of adaptable activities for teachers to use in the classroom and beyond.
Our goal is to help primary-aged girls see themselves in STEM careers – whether it’s as astronauts, scientists, mathematicians, coders or any other role. We also aim to ensure girls in STEM are visible and celebrated by peers, family and the wider community. Publisher Kristen Harrison stresses that this guide is not just for girls and promotes the use of these ideas with all students.
True equality is not just about giving girls opportunities,’ Harrison says. ‘It’s about developing empathy in all students to ensure we are all open to female voices and appreciate the benefits of diversity.
We hope this guide will help teachers to implement new ideas without adding hours of workloads. Teacher Claire Loizos says:
I have found that open tasks that require children to “learn on their feet” and choose their own methods of application have worked wonders at encouraging girls to take ownership of their own learning, with huge increases in enjoyment and progress. The ideas and activities in this guide bear this in mind, providing minimal teacher input and maximum pupil effort, encouraging independence whilst allowing girls to be creative.
We hope that all educators – including parents – will find our guide useful and inspiring.