“Whether you blame a lack of women pursuing STEM work or a bias against their doing so, both of these issues are rooted in cultural notions about women’s interest and ability in these subjects,” Jillian Berman reports for MarketWatch.

“New research adds to a growing body of evidence that these stereotypes aren’t based in reality,” Berman reports. “Overall, girls actually outperformed boys on average in a nationwide assessment of eighth-grader technology and engineering skills, according to data released Tuesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. As part of the first-ever technology and engineering literacy test, 21,500 eighth-graders across the country were asked to use their skills to solve real-world technology and engineering scenarios such as planning for a safer bike route. The assessment found that 45% of eighth-grade girls were at least proficient at these tasks, compared with 42% of eighth-grade boys.”

“Women received slightly less than 20% of the engineering degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2014, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. Women account for roughly 30% of the workers at Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet. The share of women shrinks slightly as workers ascend the ranks,” Berman reports. “So why the discrepancy between STEM skills among ‘tween’ girls and their representation in STEM fields as adults? The answer is somewhat complex. Girls may be internalizing societal messages at a very young age that they’re not suited for STEM fields, despite their skills.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science to see if they’d like to pursue it or not. Check out what code.org offers today!

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