We like to think that girls are being encouraged in STEM everywhere equally, but in 2017 one of our seniors walked into her guidance counselor’s office and was told engineering was an odd choice for a girl and tried to offer her some other possible career suggestions.
Studies show that girls love Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) until around the age of 11, when they lose confidence. By high school, only 20% of young women intend to major in a STEM field, compared to 50% of young men.
#FIRSTLikeAGirl social media campaign began because we recognized that there is still a lack of female participation and engagement in the world of STEM. Our goal is to reach more girls and encourage them follow their dreams.
We wanted to find a way for more people to support and share the message and show their enthusiasm, so we started making buttons. A LOT of buttons. We began distributing buttons at local events and found that they were in high demand by FIRST students, mentors and volunteers.
To date, we have distributed more than 6,500 #FIRSTLikeAGirl buttons to spread encouragement and support for our program. However, there are over 400,000 FIRST student participants, and our efforts so far have only been a drop in the bucket.
Our goal is to reach more girls at events this year with at least another 5,000 buttons. Will you help girls around the world get inspired to pursue their interests in STEM?