Colloquium to examine high school girls' connection to STEM education

By Staff

Distinguished Professor Margaret Eisenhart invites university personnel to attend the CU-Boulder School of Education Spring Colloquium, "We Can't Get There From Here': The Meaning and Context of High School Girls' Engagement With STEM."

The event is set for noon-1p.m. March 18 in room 220 of the Education building.

Eisenhart notes that calls for the U.S. to address the lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are ubiquitous. Join in as Eisenhart reports results of a four-year research project, Female Recruits Explore Engineering (FREE), designed to interest high school girls of color in engineering.

From 2006-2009, she and her team worked with high-achieving girls of color in Colorado, Iowa and Ohio; all the girls were strong students in math and science, but only 18 percent were considering engineering in college. In FREE, they were encouraged, their interest rose, and many developed emergent identities as possible engineers, but most did not pursue engineering. What happened?

Eisenhart argues that the meaning and context of minority girls' attempts to engage with engineering constitute a new landscape of inequality. When one of the girls told her, "We can't get there from here," she was right.