The Girls RISEnet resource catalog is a dynamic listing of crowd-sourced research and resources on engaging girls in engineering. Registered members of girlsrisenet.org can contribute resources through the "My Account" link above. If you are not a member of the site, please contact us to submit or suggest an addition.
The current work examines whether a brief exposure to a computer science role model who fits stereotypes of computer scientists has a lasting influence on women’s interest in the field. One-hundred undergraduate women who were not com- puter science majors met a female or male peer role model who embodied computer science stereotypes in appearance and stated interests or the same role model who did not embody these stereotypes. Participants and role models engaged in an interaction that lasted approximately 2 minutes. Interest in majoring in computer science was assessed following the interac- tion and 2 weeks later outside the laboratory. Results revealed that exposure to the stereotypical role model had both an immediate and an enduring negative effect on women’s interest in computer science. Differences in interest at both times were mediated by women’s reduced sense of belonging in computer science upon interacting with the stereotypical role model. Gender of the role model had no effect. Whether a potential role model conveys to women a sense of belonging in the field may matter more in recruiting women into computer science than gender of the role model. Long-term negative effects of exposure to computer scientists who fit current stereotypes in the media and elsewhere may help explain current gender disparities in computer science participation. (Published September 2012)148_Psychology_of_Women_Quarterly-2013-Cheryan-72-9.pdf
The Single Sex Debate for Girls in Science: a Comparison Between Two Informal Science Programs on Middle School Students' STEM Identity Formation---------- Abstract: Currently, there are policy debates regarding the efficacy and legality of single sex formal and informal education programs. This issue is particularly poignant in science education due to the historical marginalization of women in these fields. This marginalization has resulted in women being positioned as a stigmatized group within many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields. Research points to adolescence as the age where this sense of marginalization begins to develop. As a result, policy responses have utilized various frameworks such as: increased access for women, changing pedagogy to address women's learning styles, changing the language and culture of science to prevent marginalization of stigmatized groups, and finally exploring the role that individual identity plays in the margin- alization of women. This study adds to the policy debate as it applies to single sex education by comparing middle school participants' STEM identity formation during two informal science learning environments (an all girls STEM camp and a co- educational STEM camp). Additionally, this study focuses on the influence of camp activities within two informal science education programs: particularly the provision of role models and authentic STEM research activities, as means to improve STEM identity and make these fields relevant to the lives of middle school students. The results indicate that both camps improved girls' STEM identities. These findings suggest that the single sex environment is not as important to STEM identity as the pedagogy used within the program. (Published January 2013)View External Website
The underrepresentation of girls from nondominant backgrounds in the sciences and engineering continues despite recent gains in achievement. This longitudinal ethnographic study traces the identity work that girls from nondominant backgrounds do as they engage in science-related activities across school, club, and home during the middle school years. Building a conceptual argument for identity trajectories, the authors discuss the ongoing, cumulative, and contentious nature of identity work and the mechanisms that foster critical shifts in trajectories. The authors argue that the girls view possible future selves in science when their identity work is recognized, supported, and leveraged toward expanded opportunities for engagement in science. This process yields layered meanings of (possible) selves and of science and reconfigures meaningful participation in science. (February 2013)View External Website
ABSTRACT: Mental-rotation ability modestly predicts chemistry achievement. As such, sex differences in mental-rotation ability have been implicated as a causal factor that can explain sex differences in chemistry achievement and degree attainment. Although there is a correlation between mental-rotation ability and chemistry achievement, laboratory and field studies indicate that students do not always use the same strategies on both measures of visuospatial ability and chemistry achievement assessments. Rather, students apply visuospatial strategies in isolation and in combination with analytical heuristics trained in the chemistry classroom. In this paper, sex differences in strategy use on canonical mental-rotation tasks and isomorphic organic chemistry assessment tasks are examined. Study 1 demonstrates that men and women employ both mental rotation and learned heuristics to compare both simple block shapes and molecular representations after classroom instruction. Study 2, however, demonstrates that practice using an analytical algorithm results in higher achievement than practice using mental rotation for both men and women. Given these findings, the reliability of mental-rotation ability as a predictor of sex differences in chemistry achievement is discussed. Published January 30, 2013View External Website
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering provides statistical information about the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. A formal report, now in the form of a digest, is issued every 2 years. This is an update of a 2010 report http://www.girlsrisenet.org/resource/detail/28View External Website
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