SciGirls Seven: How to Engage Girls in STEM

SciGirls Seven: How to Engage Girls in STEMSciGirlsSevenBooklet600DPI

When you hear the name SciGirls, you might think, “I work in a mixed genders setting, SciGirls can’t be for me.” That’s definitely not the case. Although our approach, which we call the SciGirls Seven, is rooted in what research has revealed engages girls in STEM, these strategies have also been proven to work with all learners, including underrepresented youth. Research shows that, for a variety of reasons, some girls begin to lose interest (and confidence in their abilities) in math and science in middle school.

This book outlines our educational approach, rooted in what research has revealed engages girls in STEM. Yet these strategies have also been proven to work with all learners, including underrepresented youth.  Everyone benefits from a gender equitable approach to STEM!


The SciGirls Seven: Proven Strategies for Engaging Girls in STEM

The SciGirls approach – for the TV show, website, and educational materials – is rooted in research about how to engage girls in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies that work, and these have become SciGirls’ foundation.

Tips for Using the SciGirls Seven [Download Tips]

  1. Girls benefit from collaboration, especially when they can participate and communicate fairly. (Parker & Rennie, 2002; Scantlebury & Baker, 2007; Werner & Denner, 2009)
  2. Girls are motivated by projects they find personally relevant and meaningful. (Liston, Peterson, & Ragan, 2008; Lyon & Jafri, 2010; Mosatche, Matloff-Nieves, Kekelis, & Lawner, 2013; Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, & Samarapungavan, 2009; Thompson & Windschitl, 2005)
  3. Girls enjoy hands-on, open-ended projects and investigations. (Chatman et al., 2008; Denner & Werner, 2007)
  4. Girls are motivated when they can approach projects in their own way, applying their creativity, unique talents, and preferred learning styles. (Calabrese Barton et al., 2013; Calabrese Barton, Tan, & Rivet, 2008; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998; Lyon & Jafri, 2010)
  5. Girls’ confidence and performance improves in response to specific, positive feedback on things they can control—such as effort, strategies, and behaviors. (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007; Dweck, 2000; Halpern et al., 2007; Kim et al., 2007; Mueller & Dweck, 1998)
  6. Girls gain confidence and trust in their own reasoning when encouraged to think critically. (Chatman et al., 2008; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998; Kim et al., 2007)
  7. Girls benefit from relationships with role models and mentors. (Holmes, Redmond, Thomas & High, 2012; Liston, Peterson & Ragan, 2008; Lyon & Jafri, 2010; Mostache et al., 2013; Weber, 2011)

Learn how to apply the SciGirls Seven to any STEM activity in your repertoire!

Download Activity Makeover: Applying the SciGirls Seven (740K PDF)

Want to learn more? Download References and Readings