About 50 percent of girls lose interest in STEM by the age of 8. This is an alarming number. However, what’s worse is women only make up about 15-25% of the current workforce in STEM careers and the gap is widening.

What can we do to solve this problem?

Without women in STEAM careers, the innovation and exploration of our world will suffer. We need women in STEM careers. We need to understand the importance of reaching girls at a young age to foster the confidence and exploration of their ideas, their inventions, and allow them to be confident in their decision making. The only effective way to build a pipeline of adult women in tech careers is to capture girls’ imaginations with respect to science, technology, engineering, art, and math by the time they are eight-years-old.

STEAM’s role in our educational organization was created to prepare all students to broaden their ideas and confidence and become future leaders in the United States. Students of today have the chance to become scientists, engineers, inventors, researchers, and future changemakers. STEAM is designed to provide quality educational freedoms to both young girls and young boys and give them insights of what their future in our world holds.

STEM is a curriculum based on the approach of educating students in the studies of science, technology, engineering, and math. We must remember that innovation is not exclusive to the subjects of science, engineering, technology, or math. The Arts are an important part of innovation as well. STEAM was cultivated to include the Arts and expand education for the future of work in STEAM careers. By engaging young girls to use their education and technical skills with their creativity and innovation we are increasing our competitive edge in the United States. The STEAM curriculum blends all five studies into a unified learning model based on real-world applications and the future of work students will perform.

STEAM education is a vital part of our young student’s education. STEAM is designed to prepare our students to believe that they can become researchers, educators, innovators, and leaders in the future of work.

Give our girls the vision of what the future holds and encourage STEAM exploration and growth.

One element of social and emotional growth in 8- to 10-year olds is their heightened need to be seen as knowledgeable and intelligent. Within a young girl’s development, it must be recognized that how young girls feel about their skills and competence in school affects how she will feel about herself socially and impacts what challenges she is willing to take on.

By 8-years-old children begin applying logic, reasoning, and problem-solving strategies. At this stage, young girls are able to use more than one strategy at a time and they are more thoughtful in the choice of strategy they use.

Encouraging STEAM play and exploration throughout these crucial years will increase their confidence in their decision making and their exploration of new ideas.

The number of experienced female workers and students in STEM is distressing. Statistics vary by subject and location, but speaking generally, women only make up about 15%-25% of the current STEM workforce. By fostering the belief and encouragement of young girls in STEM we can begin to lessen the gap and have more creativity and ideas in the growing STEAM fields.

Many studies show there are no differences in STEM abilities. There is however, a socially perceived competency with boys versus girls in STEM fields. If girls are not expected to succeed in STEAM fields or succeed in math and science, it makes sense that as young women are considering higher education in STEM fields. Their interests have shifted to topics to which they feel more successful and confidence.

We must recognize gender imbalance and how it allows us to be aware of how we interact and communicate with girls and support young women. Gender stereotypes are deep-rooted in our backgrounds. We must cultivate change.