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Engaging Girls In STEM

Although there has been a significant increase in the quantity and quality of STEM learning experiences in afterschool and summer learning programs through the states’ STEM through STEM system-building efforts, women and minority populations are still drastically underrepresented in STEM fields. For example, although women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (62%) and biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences (48%), but relatively low shares in engineering (15%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%).

This same trend is reflected in opportunities for afterschool STEM learning. According to a 2021 Report from America After 3 PM, Boys are more likely to have opportunities to participate in technology and engineering activities in their afterschool program than girls (42 percent vs. 36 percent). Boys are also more likely to have opportunities to participate in computer science activities than girls (43 percent vs. 39 percent). For math and science learning there is little to no difference in opportunities to participate between boys and girls.

The ability for students to successfully participate in the global workplace depends on their exposure to high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) opportunities. Out-of-School-Time STEM can almost double the amount of time students have to question, tinker, learn, and explore STEM topics. The more time students spend participating in STEM learning opportunities after school and in the summer, the more interested they become in STEM subjects and majors. 

We hope to continue to build off our success of the STEM System building work and elevate new ideas and strategies to impact more youth and implement transformative programming to create more equitable and inclusive engagement of girls in STEM. 

Below you will find resources, grant applications, professional development, and other tools meant to address systemic inequities and is geared toward transforming STEM learning experiences in afterschool and altering the workforce trajectory for underrepresented and underserved youth by creating groundbreaking and high-quality STEM learning pathways for students of all ages.


Learn2Code.Live’s managed coding programs enable coding in K-12 classrooms “anywhere”. Complete with curriculum, Learning Management System, the required licenses and tools and passionate instructors who encourage and motivate students, Learn2Code.Live’s Live Classes provide a turnkey solution to enable and scale coding programs across grade levels and campuses.

IF/THEN Initiative

IF/THEN is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers. IF/THEN seeks to further advance women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers.

DiscoverE – Girl Day + Distance Learning Activities

Girl Day is a worldwide campaign to engage girls in engineering. Thousands of people--engineers, educators, and others--act as Role Models, facilitate engineering activities, and educate girls about how engineers change our world. Key findings from DiscoverE's new report, Despite the Odds, found that this simple formula helps girls develop an interest in engineering, build their confidence in their problem-solving skills, and create a STEM identity. Use DiscoverE's extensive library of resources to make a difference in a girls' life.

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Girls Who Code

“Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. The gender gap in computing is getting worse. In 1995, 37% of computer scientists were women. Today, it’s only 24%. The percent will continue to decline if we do nothing. We know that the biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17. Girls who code is changing the game. We're reaching girls around the world and are on track to close the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2027.”

National Girls Collaborative Project – Girls STEAM Ahead With NASA

This Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA (part of NASA's Universe of Learning) webinar will provide a brief overview of the program and its resources, including a range of computer-based and paper-based activities, along with exhibits and poster series. We will then delve deeper into some Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA activity-based resources. In addition to the content, there will be time for questions and comments in order for the NASA’s Universe of Learning team to best support your program efforts with the Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA materials.

SciGirls Strategies – How To Engage Girls In STEM

The bold goal of SciGirls is to change how girls see science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and how the world sees girls. SciGirls engages girls, sparks and strengthens their interest and confidence in STEM subjects before high school, when girls are deciding what kind of person they want to be. SciGirls empowers you to create a more gender equitable and culturally responsive learning environment that inspires, engages, and helps girls thrive in STEM. This book outlines our educational approach, rooted in what research has revealed engages girls in STEM. These strategies have also been proven to work with all learners. Everyone benefits from a gender equitable approach to STEM!

The Center For Advancement Of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

To help informal STEM education (ISE) and science communication groups reflect on and strengthen their efforts to broaden participation in STEM, CAISE’s Broadening Participation in STEM Task Force has developed a suite of professional development tools. If you are a staff leader or trainer working on broadening participation, these resources can help support your work. You can use them to plan and lead reflective discussions about current practices, with an eye to developing goals, strategies, and priorities that can make your ISE and science communication work more inclusive.

Society Of Women Engineers – SWENext

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. For more than six decades, the Society of Women Engineers has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. Their mission is to empower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.

Brite Program: An Interdisciplinary, Innovative Program For Girls

“Brite is a bold, interdisciplinary program built especially for girls ages 13-16. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the World Science Foundation (WSF), National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), and The Hello Studios are joining forces to bring a high-quality STEM-centered program.”