Dads of daughters, rejoice – you’re apparently closing an important achievement gap. Or, your daughters are, anyway. Hopefully you’re engaged enough to claim some credit, too. According to results released Tuesday, girls outperformed boys on a national technology and engineering test that was issued to 21,500 students in more than 800 schools nationwide. The results are significant because, despite plenty of evidence that girls are interested in STEM topics, women remain frustratingly under-represented in STEM fields.
Out of all the 8th graders in public and private schools surveyed, 45 percent of girls were proficient in the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam (NAEP), compared to 42 percent of boys. The computer-based evaluation had kids answer specific questions and perform tasks related to real STEM scenarios, such as designing a safe bike lane and engineering a healthy habitat for a classroom iguana (you don’t want to know where he was living before). You never thought your daughter hanging out with a giant lizard would be good for her future, but you’ll take it.
Of course, that 3 percent means there’s a long way to go to ensure their future in math, science, and technology —but these kids are doing to their part. A survey following the exam shows that you are too. Two-thirds of students said that their parents were their primary teachers on how to build and fix things. Hopefully they didn’t also survey those daughters about new vocabulary your girl picks up during those lessons.
[H/T] The Washington Post