Public and private organizations have tried all sorts of strategies to try to get girls and women more interested in science and math studies and careers—summer camps, the use of role models and mentors in the field, outreach to parents.
Now, a new, and I suppose far hipper variation on those efforts is being tried: a social- networking site, aimed at luring more females into the so-called STEM fields.
The site, www.underthemicroscope.com, was created by the Feminist Press, of the City University of New York, along with IBM and support from the National Science Foundation. It aims to encourage girls to pursue STEM careers by offering tips on careers, advice for parents, mentoring, and science and math scholarships and internships.
It allows visitors to guest blog, post personal stories and provide relevant news. Over time, the social-networking opportunities on the site will increase, its developers said in a description of its activities put out this fall.
The Web site is being developed as part of a larger project called “Women Writing Science,” created by the Feminist Press with support from NSF. The site will feature serialized chapters of Women Writing Science publications that can be downloaded for free. “Under the Microscope” will feature free teacher guides describing lesson plans and strategies for using the books in science curricula, which visitors also will be able to download for free.
The Feminist Press, founded in 1970 at the City University of New York, publishes literary and educational works by and about women. IBM, like many technology companies, wants to encourage more youths to choose science- and math-related fields.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.