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Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Issues, Data, Programs and Action.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Issues, Data, Programs and Action."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Issues, Data, Programs and Action

2 Presentation Outline The STEM workforce issues Data on the preparation and participation of women in STEM Programs addressing the issue –Program for Women in Science and Engineering at Iowa State University –Others How to get involved

3 The STEM Workforce Issue

4 A Workforce Shortage The nation (and Iowa) needs to produce more professionals in the STEM area Analyses of current trends indicate serious problems lie ahead that may threaten our long-term prosperity and national security. These include: Flat or reduced domestic student interest in critical areas, such as engineering and the physical, and mathematical sciences, as shown by data for bachelors degrees Large increases in retirements from the S&E workforce projected over the next two decades Projected rapid growth in S&E occupations over the next decade, at three times the rate of all occupations Source: National Science Board – The Science and Engineering Workforce Realizing America’s Potential (2003)

5 STEM Workforce Impacts Scientists and engineers sustain more than half of America’s economic growth Engineering and science are the building blocks of innovation Engineering and science play in important role in defense, homeland security, intelligence, and bioterrorism

6 Value of diversifying STEM workforce In addition to increasing our ability to meet workforce demands….. Allows industry to remain globally competitive – reflective of marketplace Creates better/more innovative products and solutions Utilizes the scientific talents of all of our citizens

7 Where will the growth in STEM professionals come from? Individuals who haven’t historically pursued these careers, including: –Women –Under-represented minorities –Adult/returning learners –First generation college students – low socio- economic households

8 Women should be viewed as our greatest opportunity to meet these issues Account for half of the population. Account for 57 percent of the enrollment at Iowa’s colleges. Yet women account for only 40% of students enrolled at Iowa’s public universities in STEM fields.

9 Women as a Percentage of Selected Occupations, 2005 © 2006 WEPAN, prepared by CPST,

10 The Data

11 High School Preparation Course taking patterns Academic achievement Iowa and National

12 Iowa Public High School Enrollment % of high school students taking course % of students taking course that were female % of high school students taking course % of students taking course that were female Physics25.2%39.1%26.0%42.8% Chemistry48.2%49.5%68.7%52.7% Higher-Level Math (above Algebra II) 9.7%45.1%25.7%50.0% Data from The Annual Condition of Education Report, Iowa Department of Education, 2007

13 Percent of Iowa Students Proficient in STEM subject area ( ) 8 th grade ITBS 11 th grade ITED MathScienceMathScience Males76.0%80.0%78.9%78.1% Females75.1%82.1%77.7%82.5% Data from The Annual Condition of Education Report, Iowa Department of Education, 2007

14 What Mathematics Courses Are U.S. High School Students Taking?

15 What Science Courses Are U.S. High School Students Taking?

16 Iowa High School Class 2007 Career Aspirations CareerNational PercentageIowa Percentage Ag Sciences1.7%3.0% Computer/Information Sciences 2.7%2.1% Engineering4.9%4.6% Engineering related technology 2.9%2.1% Health Sciences21.0%18.8% Math0.5% Science (Physical/Biological) 5.4%4.8% TOTAL STEM39.1%35.9% Undecided12.7%19.5% ACT – High School Profile Reports – % based on those who responded to question on career aspiration.

17 Undergraduate Enrollment –National –ISU data Degrees awarded –Etc.

18 Women Increasing Their Share of Some STEM Bachelor’s Degree Fields

19 Women Still Earn Few Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering Disciplines

20 Female Percentage of Undergraduate and Professional STEM Students at Iowa State University

21 Total Undergraduate Engineering Enrollment of Women: Gains & Losses © 2006 WEPAN, prepared by CPST,

22 The Educational Pathway for Women in Engineering Engineering- Ready H.S. Seniors Freshman Engineering Students Engineering Baccalaureates Engineering PhDs 61% of Males (about 890,000) 57% of Females (about 820,000) 84% Male (86,465) 16% Female (16,896) 80% Male (60,721) 20% Female (15,282) 83% Male (5,368) 17% Female (1,136) © 2006 WEPAN, prepared by CPST,

23 Statewide Study “Report to Iowa Legislature on Women and Minorities in STEM fields at Iowa’s Public Universities”, January 2009 Available at:

24 Factors influencing women in STEM Student Behavior Attitudes and Aspirations Academic Preparation Pre-College Education –Curriculum/Instruction –Teachers/Counselors –Learning Opportunities Family/Environmental Support Role Models Post Secondary –Structure and commitment –Academic & social climates –Special programs Source: Entry and Persistence of Women and Minorities in College Science and Engineering Education, NCES,

25 The Program for Women in Science and Engineering (PWSE) at Iowa State University

26 Program for Women in Science and Engineering (PWSE) Founded in 1986 Mission: Create programs, share knowledge, and engage people to enhance the STEM educational experience for women. –Create, offer, and maintain innovative undergraduate and outreach programs that engage a diverse audience of women and girls in an experiential and supportive learning environment in STEM. –Share knowledge on innovative strategies, best practices, and research on the success of women in STEM with a broad range of individuals and organizations serving as partners in transforming the STEM educational experience for women. –Engage a broader, more diverse group of women pursuing STEM careers.

27 Outreach Taking the Road Less Traveled (TRLT) Career Conferences for middle and high school girls –One-day conferences for students to explore STEM related careers held six times each year. Student role models –Undergraduate students visiting classrooms and community organizations across the state. –Leading hands-on STEM activities. Collaborative programs –Girl Scouts –Write Women Back into History Contest –Others… TRLT Participants

28 On-campus Programs WiSE Learning Communities (Freshman, transfer, and sophomore students) –Opportunity for women in STEM fields to live with one another, take classes together, and receive mentoring from upper-division students –Social and academic programming –Two peer mentors for each team of 2-25 students Connecting students with summer research opportunities

29 On-campus Programs On-campus Programming & E-WiSE –Social and academic activities for women in science & engineering majors –Student Organizations Sophomore year success course College Scholarships –Financial support WiSE Tailgate WiSE Students at a Tailgate

30 PWSE Staff Director – Karen Zunkel Outreach Coordinator – Carol Heaverlo On-Campus Coordinator – Lora Leigh Chrystal Graduate students and undergraduate student –

31 Many Others Working on this Issue Other Higher Education Programs: –University of Iowa – Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) –Community College Initiatives funded by Perkins Grants –National Science Foundation Grants at Iowa State, Kirkwood, etc. Community-based Programs –Girl Scouts –4-H Initiatives –YWCA –Chrysalis Foundation –Etc.

32 How to Get Involved

33 Individuals or Community Organizations can: Sponsor a group of students (and/or transportation costs) for students to attend the career conferences Invite ISU PWSE Student Role Models to visit with youth group in the area (4-H clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) Organize a local ‘career conference day’ – partnering with ISU, community colleges and/or local businesses. Provide financial support towards efforts of PWSE Other ideas? Contact PWSE if you have other ideas on ways PWSE can partner with you to address this issue.

34 Individuals or Community Organizations can: If you have STEM employees in your business: –Provide job shadowing opportunities –Encourage employees to present at the career conferences –Encourage role model visits and/or visits by your employees into the local schools –Provide opportunities for K-12 teachers and/or students to visit your business. –Serve as mentor/judge for regional and state science fairs, etc. Offer scholarships to local high school students going into STEM fields in college Encourage rigor and hands-on experiences in science and math courses in your local school districts.

35 For Further Information Go to Or contact


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