by Tara N.

Complicated vs Casual : Getting Girls Involved in Science

When we say something using complicated, formal words, most people zone out. This happens in making, too. When girls are introduced to engineering with words like ‘computer science’,  ‘programming’, and ‘technology’, they show less interest than when they are introduced with terms like ‘fixing problems’, and ‘crafting’. This shows that the language that we use to describe things is very important. 

For instance, when a child is asked to do a chore, saying, ‘clean your room. It’s filthy,’ instead a parent  could say something like, ‘could you organize your room? It will be a nicer place to be in.’ This will probably make the child feel more inclined to do what you ask. The same concept applies when we ask girls about subjects like climate science. The term ‘climate science’ is a techy kind of term, and for children who don’t understand the term, they will be less inclined to do it. So instead of asking girls if they want to be climate scientists, we can say ‘do you want to make the world cleaner?’ This is something they can understand better and will make them feel more inclined to check it out now that they have more understanding of what they are looking at. 

“For the study, Microsoft researchers surveyed more than 6,000 young women and girls on their views surrounding science, technology, engineering and math. The report indicates that women generally lose interest in STEM careers before they reach adulthood, with nearly 60% losing interest in the field by the time they enter college.” (Education Advisory Board) Girls lose interest in the sciences, and mostly because they don’t have access and don’t understand them. Though climate change, global warming, and other planet health matters are being discussed more often and being publicized more, we still need to make the message clearer, so young girls understand how they can get involved. 

To conclude, when we use casual language to describe subjects like climate science instead of techy, complicated terms, we help young girls become encouraged to look into these professions. Some might decide that they like the field enough to make it their career. By helping girls understand in casual terms, we can help a new generation of innovators and makers make this world a healthier, happier, and better place.