Gender Stereotypes in STEM

“Early in elementary school, many children already believe that boys are more interested than girls in computer science and engineering”. This is according to a recently released study from the University of Houston and University of Washington.

The study surveyed 2500 students in elementary school to learn about stereotypes regarding boys’ and girls’ interest in STEM. They found that as early as first grade most students already believed that boys were more interested in computer science and engineering. Similar thoughts were mentioned from grades 1-12. Interestingly this was not due to ability in math or science, but due to perceived interest in those subjects.

The findings indicate that changing these stereotypes has to start very early. “These beliefs then, as they get older, get linked to their own motivation and their interest,” said Allison Master, assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Education. If nothing is done then these perceptions and “stereotypes are self-fulfilling prophecies.”

Many schools are trying to bring math and science concepts to children at earlier ages, but often funding and other barriers have stymied efforts. The Brooklyn Preschool of Science was launched in 2012 to expose young children to “science concepts, which are infused throughout lessons each day.” Carmelo Piazza, executive and educational director of the school states that, “kids are natural born scientists.” He emphasized the need to start them when they are young.

It is the mission of High Impact Tutors (HIT) to transform students’ lives with world class STEM tutoring. We do this by providing high-quality, accessible, affordable tutoring support for all. This is the time to close the STEM gap and provide equal opportunities for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status.

To learn more about how High Impact Tutors can help you students, please visit our website or email 

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