Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Admitted in December 2018. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
Parents don’t need to be tech-savvy to raise girls who are interested in STEM.
A 2018 poll found that parents’ proficiency with technology has only marginal effects on girls’ excitement about the subject.
“This survey shows that, contrary to popular belief, girls are interested in tech, and that they will seek out instruction regardless of their parents’ affinity with technology,” according to Tracey Welson-Rossman, founder and CEO of TechGirlz — a nonprofit organization that worked with Drexel University (PA) to conduct the survey. “It should reassure parents they can set their daughters on the path to a rewarding, empowering career in tech with support and encouragement, even if they do not understand the subject matter themselves.”
Overall, 86 percent of the girls surveyed felt their enthusiasm for tech was supported by their parents. Researchers also found that interest in the subject peaks with girls in the sixth and seventh grades and declines after that.
“The results represent an initial step toward understanding how girls’ perceptions of technology can be influenced and shaped within their home environments,” said Murugan Anandarajan, a Drexel University professor who led the survey, which polled more than 1,000 students and their parents. “Our findings begin a powerful conversation for parents, showing that, regardless of their relationship with technology, they can develop strategies to promote and encourage girls’ technology interests at a young age.”
Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.