STEM is not a boys’ world; girls & drones are becoming a phenomenon, and we are here. for. it.
Most of us picture male engineers, male scientists, and male technologists. And it’s true that there has historically been a gap:
According to UNESCO, only about 35% of STEM students in global higher education are women.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing organizations and educators working to close that margin and encourage girls to pursue STEM.
With hands-on, STEM-based programs in schools, after-school programs, and summer camps, there is so much we can do to help girls in STEM unlock their inner Legends.
Keep reading to learn more about girls in STEM — and how girls with drones are getting hands-on learning that sets them up to change the future.
Girls in STEM: Inspiring Statistics
A 2021 study on women in STEM found that a consistent obstacle for girls and women at all stages in the developmental STEM pipeline is confidence. The study notes that “Interest in STEM at the beginning of high school will set the precedent for whether it is pursued in later education.”
While there is still so much room for growth, the number of women in STEM careers has seen improvement — though not equally in all areas.
Here are some inspiring statistics reflecting growth for women in STEM:
- The PEW Research Center found that the number of women working as atmospheric and space scientists rose from 15% in 2015 to 24% in 2019
- The overall number of women working in STEM careers rose from 8% in 1970 to 27% in 2019
- More than 60% of undergraduate biology majors are women
- On average, girls outperform boys on science test scores globally
Bridging the confidence gap during key developmental stages, like elementary, middle, and high school can have a lasting impact on whether girls select STEM tracks as they prepare for college, as well as later in life when they select careers.
Organizations Supporting Girls in STEM
Early STEM education is so important.
The PEW Research Center reports the following: “The long-term outlook for diversity in the STEM workforce is closely tied to representation in the STEM educational system.”
The report finds that within STEM career clusters, women are overrepresented in health-related fields, and yet vastly underrepresented when it comes to computer occupations, architecture, and engineering.
By encouraging young girls to participate in STEM-based programs, it’s possible to provide hands-on learning experiences that build essential STEM skills and confidence in areas like engineering, architecture, and coding.
Here are some great organizations focused on supporting girls in STEM:
Girlstart is a Texas-based organization with a mission to inspire and empower girls in STEM disciplines. With robust afterschool and summer camp programs in over 80 high-need schools throughout Texas, Girlstart aims to supplement girls’ science education in the classroom with hands-on learning in a supportive environment.
STEM Like a Girl
STEM Like a Girl is a nonprofit organization that believes STEM education should start in elementary school. The nonprofit offers parent-daughter workshops and emphasizes that visible female STEM role models can have a huge impact on how girls and young women perceive their own abilities and opportunities.
National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP)
The NGCP works to bring together STEM organizations with missions centered around helping girls pursue STEM careers. The project provides in-person and virtual STEM events and aims to build a network of STEM programs through which it can help foster gender equality in STEM-based fields.
STEM Legends: Girls With Drones
Here at Drone Legends, it’s no secret that we believe in the magic of drones. That’s why we created our standards-aligned STEM curriculum utilizing drones to teach elementary school-aged children essential STEM skills.
Drone career paths are opening up across so many industries, from agricultural technology and logistics to security and medicine.
Girls with drones can change the world.
Here are three incredible organizations working to unite the magic of girls with the magic of drones:
Women Who Drone
Recognizing a gender gap in the nascent drone industry, Elena Buenrosto founded Women Who Drone in 2017. The online female drone pilot community aims to build awareness, foster connection, and provide drone education to help women pursue career opportunities in the drone industry.
Black Girls Drone Inc.
Black Girls Drone Inc promotes drone literacy and provides inspiration, education, and resources for Black girls in high school. The organization offers year-round drone camps and workshops aimed at preparing young girls in underserved communities for a future in the aero-tech industry.
Women and Drones
Women and Drones is a great organization that elevates women in the UAS/AAM industry. Founded by Sharon Rossmark, it provides resources to showcase trailblazers in the field, provide networking opportunities for a worldwide audience, and offers Kids With Drones workshops for educators around the country.
STEM Education With Drones
The Drone Legends STEM curriculum is an immersive, experiential program designed to teach kids essential STEM skills inside and outside of the classroom. By working through themed missions, students collaborate to solve problems based on real-world scenarios that scientists and researchers face today.
To complete a mission (lesson), each student is assigned an active role. This hands-on approach to problem-solving helps build confidence, creates opportunities to fail and persevere in a supportive environment, and encourages clear communication. Once a lesson is complete, students are prompted to reflect on their experiences and think of other ways drones can be used to solve complicated problems.
By exposing students of all gender identities to drone technology, we are able to inform and inspire. Students learn about potential careers in STEM-based fields and strengthen their skills within the full range of STEM disciplines, including math, engineering, and coding.
With hands-on experience and foundational knowledge of drone and coding technology, students are prepared to enter middle and high school with confidence in their technical abilities.
Drone Legends: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators
Our team believes that Inside Every Child Lives a Legend™.
We also believe that drones are an excellent vehicle for STEM education (literally). Our program incorporates problem-based learning and social-emotional skills to help develop well-rounded students who can work together, persevere, and think outside of the box.
To learn more about our drone curriculum, you can find an overview of our program here.
If you have any questions, connect with our team online — and don’t forget to follow Drone Legends on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest, greatest developments in the world of drones and education.