Logic Model Narrative
Recent initiatives have dedicated their efforts toward lessening the gender gap between males and females in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) by creating afterschool programs geared toward adolescent females studying STEM, including a project entitled Bringing Up Girls in Science (BUGS). Researchers studied the effectiveness of having 32 females in the 4th and 5th grades participate in an afterschool program that teaches STEM related skills through lab simulations. They wanted to analyze whether or not there is a significant correlation between females being exposed to STEM activities in an afterschool setting while also being matched with a high school and a faculty mentor. Then, they wanted to compare the opinions of the participants five years after participation against non-BUGS participation to see if their attitudes differed towards the field of science. The researchers found there was a significant correlation between being exposed to science at a young age and then having a greater awareness for STEM while pursuing collegiate education.
Organizations such as BUGS need more funding because the lab equipment, the wage of the teachers, and the transportation of the students can be costly. With more funding, more organizations geared toward educating adolescent females in STEM can be implemented, which can work toward leading more females to majoring in scientific fields than previous decades. Furthermore, the female mentor can serve as an inspiration to see the credibility behind participating in extracurricular scientific activities especially when the most of the field is dominated by male figures. If these strategies are implement, the research suggests there is a greater likelihood for females to pursue careers in STEM related fields, which will lessen the gender gap between males and females. Then, the previous participants who were exposed to scientific lab modules at a young age will be more inclined to go back into their old communities and incite interest in STEM among young females.
This research was sparked by the theory that the gender gap is associated with limited resources and a gap in perceived scientific career instead of an intellectual gap. In most intellectual areas, females have performed just as well as males in those subjects. Females have been less prone to pursuing a STEM career because of the stereotype that males perform better in the sciences than females. Furthermore, these afterschool projects builds off the theory that early intervention is key in altering one’s perception of a subject area, such as STEM. By focusing on young females in 4th and 5th grades, the researchers are assuming this early exposure to STEM will instill an interest in STEM while fighting the stereotype that females perform inferiorly to males in this field.
Tyler-Wood, T., Ellison, A., Lim, O., & Periathiruvadi, S. (2012). Bringing Up Girls in Science (BUGS): The Effectiveness of an Afterschool Environmental
Science Program for Increasing Female Students' Interest in Science Careers.
Journal Of Science Education & Technology, 21(1), 46-55.