Spotlight Story | More girls in MINT – Recommendations from Gütersloh

In 2016, the zdi center pro MINT GT began to systematically exchange ideas on the subject of girls and MINT. At that time, the exchange of experiences "More girls in STEM" was started, in which both zdi representatives and teachers who were in conversation with schoolgirls took part. We present the results of their work here.

What exactly can teachers do to get more girls interested in STEM? What works and what doesn't? What wishes and ideas do girls actually have on this topic? – the participants of the meetings in Gütersloh have been dealing with these questions since 2016. What was initially planned as a pure exchange of experiences became a small "research group". The team at the zdi center per MINT GT has drawn up recommendations that reflect the experiences of dedicated teachers who watch girls and boys with alert eyes.

On the basis of various studies, workshops, an NRW-wide survey of girls at zdi partner schools and projects that have been tried and tested in practice, the following recommendations have emerged, which are and were used as the basis for concrete cooperation projects between schools, companies and universities:

Seven recommendations for addressing girls

Recommendation 1 "Interdisciplinarity": Offer interdisciplinary topics! Girls find it exciting! Perhaps they are more confident in STEM topics if they feel more secure in one of the fields. Do you like to combine language and MINT or combine the natural science biology, which is popular with girls, with technology.

Recommendation 2 "Context": Girls care about the meaning! Put STEM in meaningful contexts! Connect topics such as nature, sustainability, diseases with technology, chemistry or mathematics.

Recommendation 3 "Experiments / excursions / practical activities": Get girls excited about hands-on activities! You want to do it yourself and are looking for the application! They like to work in groups. In addition to the meaningful topics (see context), the somewhat clichéd girl topics such as e.g. B. Cosmetics occur. The girls feel attracted to it. It doesn't have to stay that way.

Recommendation 4 “Encouragement”: As a teacher, encourage girls in particular to choose STEM! Girls need this encouragement more than boys.

Recommendation 5 “Parents”: Talk to parents early! You are important! They often support their children decisively in choosing a career. If, for capacity reasons, it is not possible for the zdi network to work explicitly with parents, cooperation with the education office within the framework of KAoA would be a way of reaching parents as well.

Recommendation 6 “MINT girls as multipliers”: Let girls from the STEM elective or from STEM advanced courses talk about their experiences! Bring these girls together with younger girls in STEM clubs, projects or other STEM activities! This lowers inhibitions and makes it easier to eliminate prejudices. Role models of this kind also give courage.

Project example: biochemistry and product development

The zdi center has initiated a cooperation between the student laboratory for biochemistry at the Zumbusch comprehensive school in Herzebrock-Clarholz and a regional brewery. The so-called MINT ambassadors group, which came about as an idea from the working group, is to develop a new lemonade as an exemplary project and thus a possible new business area for the brewery according to its own tastes. The project should start promptly and then be implemented as a BSO measure.

Project example: biochemistry and product development

The zdi center has initiated a cooperation between the student laboratory for biochemistry at the Zumbusch comprehensive school in Herzebrock-Clarholz and a regional brewery. The so-called MINT ambassadors group, which came about as an idea from the working group, is to develop a new lemonade as an exemplary project and thus a possible new business area for the brewery according to its own tastes. The project should start promptly and then be implemented as a BSO measure.

Contact person for exchange

zdi center per MINT GT
ppa. Matthias Vinnemeier
Phone: +05241 851091 XNUMX
m.vinnemeier@prowi-gt.de

Anyone who would like to find out more about girls and STEM should take a look at our zdi heroines: girls, scientists and entrepreneurs report what excites them about STEM. And zdi networks provide important tips for addressing young women. Click here for the zdi heroines October.

You might also be interested in these posts

The image shows a screenshot from a Zoom call. Gwendolyn Paul can be seen on the left and Jiny Matty-Borlinghaus on the right.

General, Habitats of the future, girls promotion, Science League, Smart Cities

In the interview: Jiny Matty-Borlinghaus from the zdi center Oberhausen

An image of a person standing in front of a rainbow colored box.

General, girls promotion, Under the magnifying glass

Under the microscope: How important diverse perspectives are

Two girls work on a wooden structure at the zdi girls camp.

General, girls promotion

zdi Girls Camp 2023: MINT educational opportunities for everyone