Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Factors which affect the physical science career interest of female students.

 I recently read this paper about the interest level of girls in physical sciences and was fascinated by the conclusion. They tested the impact of five different experiences on the level of interest (US) high school girls expressed in physical sciences careers. 

 The experiences were: 

* Single-sex class
* Women scientist guest speaker
* Female teacher
* Discussion of the work of women scientists
* Discussion of the underrepresentation of women in STEM

 They found that by quite a margin the biggest impact was found by girls having had the last experience (with a mild effect from the second to last). The first three were found to have no significant impact (although female teachers were found to be more likely to run the last two experiences). 

 Anyway I thought it was neat to see this kind of evidence based analysis of the effect of different experiences, so I wanted to share. 

(Full disclose I knew Zahra Hazari when we were both working at CfA in Boston and attended science education group meetings there) 

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