- Why Your Daughter Might Need Extra Encouragement – pp. 31-32
Girls learn differently than boys do and they can be far more discouraged by failure. Parents don’t have to be experts, they just have to be supportive; this is key to improving the ratio of women to men in engineering and computing careers.
- Start early – seek out games, toys, and books that show how girls can be engineers or write code.
- Learn after school – check out the local library, nearby science museums, girl scouts, etc. for after school enrichment programs.
- Find role models – Show your daughter famous role models from history, seek local sources for mentors by looking at the resources and the get connected pages for your girl’s grade range.
- Bring it home – Point out how science and engineering are part of daily life and talk about it over dinner. Ideas for activities to do at home can come from library books or from the resources.
- Build confidence – Help your daughter get over fear of failure and boost her confidence by telling her that mistakes and risk are part of learning. Praise the effort and the process. Encourage hands-on projects and allow her to get messy, work, test and rework.
- Try the team approach – Girls often come forward in teams. They like to team up, take risks together, exchange ideas and work collaboratively.
- Embolden and encourage – If you see your daughter struggling with a particular STEM topic, gently point out and encourage them to try other alternatives e.g. robotics, electronics, 3D imagery, mobile apps, game design etc. An open mind is key and the more things they try the greater the chance they will find that something where they can excel.
Many of the resources connect you to local or online websites and organizations to enable you to inspire and support your daughter’s STEM journey.