Tag Archives: girls

MODULE 4 WEBLOG – KATHRYN WILLIAMS (NÉE GARDNER)

Science Grrl

 http://sciencegrrl.co.uk/

 Science Grrl is a grass roots organization, based in the UK, that celebrates and supports women in science. Interestingly, the organization began when the European Union’s ‘Science – It’s a Girl Thing’ campaign struck outrage when the advertisement didn’t actually include any real science! You can watch the original video below:

Science Grrl wanted to change the idea that science had to become pink or all about makeup in order for girls to be interested. Their tag line is “Because science is for everybody” and they are working hard to address the underrepresentation of girls in the STEM subjects. In 2014 Science Grrl published a report, Through Both Eyes: the case for a Gender lens in STEM, which is an excellent read. The report looks at the need to challenge biases and stereotypes and to seriously look at the cultural messages – visible and invisible –that are passed on to young girls. The report claims that the decision-making of girls and their uptake of STEM subjects relies on three main facts:

  1. Relevance of STEM = Is it for people like me?
  2. Perceived, actual and relative ability = Do I feel confident?
  3. Science capital = Can I see the possibilities and pathways?

You can access the full report here: http://sciencegrrl.co.uk/assets/SCIENCE-GRRL-Stem-Report_FINAL_WEBLINKS-1.pdf

This report has been very helpful to me in rationalising our lesson plans and teaching resources for our final project.

 

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Teaching Resources

 https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1302868012055/1302868605384

This Government of Canada website has some excellent teaching resources for kids aged 4-16, particularly in their Learning Circle resources. The resources include: Indigenous stories, (both the written version and an audio file); interviews with Indigenous youth from around Canada; and, suggestions for literary images. I like how each lesson has general information, several units and teacher resources, making it easy for teachers to pick out bits and pieces that they see best fitting with their classroom learners.

 

Embedding indigenous perspectives in teaching school science

Appanna, S. D. (2011). Embedding indigenous perspectives in teaching school science. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, The40, 18. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/documentSummary;dn=610014455255962;res=IELIND

This article is helping me shape the scheme of work I am creating for our final project. In the article, Subhashni Appanna argues that we must first understand the barriers that face Indigenous teenagers when trying to understand Science, before we can aim to improve teaching and learning for these students. For example, Appanna states that, “The relevance of the school curriculum is a key factor in Indigenous students leaving early” (Appanna, 2011, p. 19). She then outlines how improvements to teaching practices can improve interest and success rates of Indigenous students learning.  Many of these correlate with the information from our readings in the course to date. For example: the need for positive teacher-student relationships; recognition of Indigenous Knowledge Systems; and, the essentiality that teachers must pursue links with Indigenous communities. I found Appanna’s analysis of Indigenous learning styles interesting and helpful for my final project. For example, she states that when teaching Indigenous students, holistic rather than analytic tasks, and visual more than verbal oppurtunities for output will play to their strengths (Appanna, 2011, p. 20).

 

Camp blends scientific, cultural teachings for aboriginal girls

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/6808890-camp-blends-scientific-cultural-teachings-for-aboriginal-girls/

The aim of this three-day camp, based in Waterloo, Ontario, was to get Indigenous girls in grades 6-8 the chance to engage with cultural and scientific activities and interested in STEM subjects. The rationale behind this demographic was to reach them before they get the choice to opt out of certain subjects in high school. This program is unique as it involved caregivers and parents with the aim that this would encourage students to study these subjects, and to consider the possibility of a STEM career in the future. The University of Waterloo is aiming to host this free camp annually.

 

Get Them Interested

Love, D. (2014). Get Them Interested. Learning & Leading with Technology41(7), 25–27. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=97093593&site=ehost-live&scope=site

This article discusses how to get girls interested in coding and programming. The author, Dorian Love, discusses several practical tools with which he has found success in this realm. Firstly, he often uses the discovery method when students are using a new tool, giving the students the resources to have a go by themselves and, secondly, for peers to teach and mentor each other (Love, 2014, p. 25). I have found this strategy to have positive implications on my own students when I’m introducing coding to them through the app, Move the Turtle. Love describes a competition he designs for his students to make their own flash games, which he claims takes the ‘nerdyness’ out of programming (Love, 2014, p. 27). His ideas made me think about what I could do in my own classroom to create more of an interest in coding and programming as well as how I could incorporate this into my final project.

 

 

 

 

 

Weblog 3

Module 3 Weblog

 

https://indigenousworks.ca/en/resources/promising-practices/hydro-youth-program

This is an article about the fantastic program Manitoba Hydro has started to get young women interested in careers in STEM. Manitoba Hydro recognized that Aboriginal youth are an untapped resource. They formed a committee to understand and remove the systemic barriers Aboriginal people face in the job market. This particular recruitment initiative takes the form of week long summer camps for girls that introduces them to STEM. As the articles says, the ripple effect of this program is far reaching. Not only are these young women now interested in careers in STEM, it has also boosted their overall sense of confidence.

 

http://www.wisest.ualberta.ca/Programs/TalesfromtheScienceBuffalo

This program from the University of Alberta bill itself as “A series of interactive classroom presentations with engaging science activities that honour Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and introduce careers in the Sciences.” The presenters visit schools for 2 days and offer science “classes” that are linked to the Alberta curriculum and honour Aboriginal perspectives. This program comes from WISEST: Women in Scholarships, Engineering, Science and Technology, making the benefits twofold- seeing how Western science and Aboriginal ways of knowing can be linked, and having female role models for young Aboriginal youth.

 

http://www.animikii.com/home

Animikii is an Indigenous technology solutions company based in British Columbia. I have included this is my list because of the incredible partnerships and programs they have developed. My focus of my final project is about Aboriginal female youth in STEM. With the expression “You cannot be what you cannot see” in mind, I have been looking for Indigenous tech companies with a strong female presence. From their About Us page, this company appears to have a 50/50 ratio of men to women, which is nearly unheard of in the tech industry.

 

https://alis.alberta.ca/tools-and-resources/conte

This booklet published by the government of Alberta breaks down myths, offers resources and real women’s stories to inspire women to enter non-traditional jobs. There is one story about Brenda Holder, an Aboriginal women who felt the deck was stacked against her, in terms of opening her own business. She was connected with a mentor and created a business plan and is now the successful owner of Mahikan Trails, a Canmore based adventure company. In the article she says “As Aboriginal people sometimes we believe we don’t have much to offer. But often it’s our differences that produce the most amazing opportunities.”

 

http://www.indigenousyouthwellness.ca/ask-auntie

This is an online program for girls, ages 10-14. Ask Auntie aims to “replicate the traditional learning relationship between youth and their Aunties and Elders”. Their target age is a critical time for girls, as studies show that their mental health takes a sharp decline around this age. This program promotes cultural understanding and community connections, and is grouped into themes such as identity, culture and connection, relationships and safety, body knowledge and body transitions, and wellness and healing. The full program is arranged in a curriculum format, but they also have a YouTube channel that anyone can access.