International Day of Women and Girls in STEM

Posted on February 13th, 2020 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

Since 2015, February 11th has been recognized as “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”— a day aimed at ensuring full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls.

At AC, however, students of all genders have full and equal access to STEM every day. Starting in our Lower School curriculum, STEM is a piece of every unit and is tightly integrated across K-5. As students advance to Middle and Upper School, our curriculum allows for an even deeper study of the sciences.

Did you know, AC offers science electives, including:
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Video Game Design
  • AP Computer Science Programming
  • Robotics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • Science Writing and Research
  • Biochemistry of the Cell
  • Genetics
  • Forensics
  • Human Disease

Over the course of just three years, enrollment in AC’s STEM electives has gone from 100% male to approximately 50% male and 50% female. In fact, this year’s enrollment in our culminating science course, Science Writing and Research, is comprised almost entirely of females, with only one male enrolled.

Maya Crosby, Director of the AC Invent Center for STEM and Innovation, recently said, “The key to getting more females interested in science isn’t just having more female teachers in STEM. It is an identity you’re trying to build. Students build their formative ideas of what a scientist is over time, and it is not just what they look like and how to act, it has to do with their [the student’s] confidence level and personal interests.”

This is no different from AC’s overall philosophy of making students feel like they belong here. Our teachers inspire students and build their confidence to make them believe that yes, they can do math and science and become a mathematician or scientist.

If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.

An integral and unique part of AC’s STEM program is our focus on authentic and individualized learning. These opportunities not only provide teachers with a variety of ways to measure student progress, and thus remove gender and race bias, but they also allow our students to actively see and do the things they are learning about.¬† This year alone, students have had the opportunity to participate in partnerships with RIT and U of R to dig deeper into their study of STEM topics and career paths.

“I am a science and technology evangelist,” said Crosby. “It’s my passion to get people excited about all things STEM and make fresh connections to the science and technology in their daily lives. It was evident before I even walked through the door that AC was a special and unique place. I am thankful for my incredibly talented and accomplished colleagues and the atmosphere of encouragement and confidence we are building around STEM for our students.”

Get to know AC’s inspirational women in STEM

“I am not a woman in science. I am a scientist.” —¬†Donna Strickland

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Centers for Impact, Highlights, Invent, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized, US Birches

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