Teaching Girls to Tinker

February 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Girlstart after school participants tinker with robotics

Great article in Education Week about the importance of teaching girls to tinker and explore their world. 

“Girls have made fantastic academic gains in the past 15 years, but they are still sorely underrepresented in engineering and computer science. To engage in these critical fields, girls need compelling role models and an appreciation for the collaborative nature and human applications of engineering and computing. And, from their earliest days, girls need to tinker.”

Three suggestions from the article to engage girls in tinkering:

“First, know that tinkering takes time, and sometimes space. Look for opportunities for girls to tinker without worrying about deadlines or grades. After-school Lego Leagues, school intersessions, and unstructured class time are prime times for tinkering.”

“Second, don’t expect girls to tinker alone. The next time your toaster breaks, get a screwdriver and ask your daughter to join you in taking it apart. She doesn’t need to fix it—unless she wants to—but she should enjoy seeing what’s inside.”

“Finally, when asking girls to tinker, give them meaningful goals.

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