View email in your browser.
Mon, June 15, 2015

Changing the STEM equation

I was recently interviewed about a new study showing that people across the globe are more likely to associate science with one gender than another. Here’s a hint: It’s not women. The research, from Northwestern University, showed that even in countries known for gender equality such as the Netherlands, study participants were more likely to associate words like “math” and “physics” with men than women.
Asked what I made of the findings, I had to admit I wasn’t surprised. Although tremendous efforts have been made in recent years to encourage more interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) among girls and women, it’s clear that more work needs to be done.
The study does have a silver lining, and that’s the finding that gender-science stereotypes were weaker in nations with more female science majors and researchers. This speaks directly to the need for female role models in the STEM fields.
I’m proud to say that Missouri S&T is helping to change these stereotypes. From record enrollment of women on campus to our diverse summer camp offerings to our work preparing hundreds of teachers to engage all students in the STEM disciplines, we are doing our part to make a difference.
In today’s newsletter, I will share some of that good work going on right now to transcend stereotypes.

Teaching the teachers

Numerous studies have shown that students’ earliest experiences with math and science have long-term consequences both for their interest and abilities in the STEM disciplines. One 2010 study showed that 65 percent of scientists and graduate students said their interest in science began before middle school.

First impressions are critical.

That’s one reason why I’m pleased that, for the second year, Missouri S&T is offering teacher training at the elementary level through Project Lead the Way’s Launch program. We anticipate hosting nearly 100 elementary teachers this year at sessions offered in Columbia, Blue Springs and St. Louis. Launch focuses on infusing STEM into existing curriculum. For example, story time involving The Three Little Pigs can also become an exercise in experimenting to identify the best building materials to withstand wind.

In total, more than 500 elementary school, middle school and high school teachers from throughout the United States are participating in Missouri S&T’s program to learn how to teach engineering, computer science and biomedical science courses to their students this fall. That’s nothing to huff or puff about.

Visiting Camp S&T for the summer

Students of all ages are checking in to Missouri S&T this summer to get a taste of what it means to be a Miner. This year’s offerings including EcoGirl Camp, which is focused on environmental careers; Minority Introduction to Technology and Engineering, designed to show under-represented minority students how math and science relate to engineering; and Robotics Camp, pictured above, where students learn programming techniques and get hands-on bot experience.

Many camps are STEM-focused, but not all are. Building Leaders for Tomorrow, for example, is offered to high school students who want to explore the power of communication and hone their leadership skills.

We know that these camps are more than just summer fun. Nearly a quarter of our freshmen last year had attended one of our camps. Although many camps are full, some still have availability. Learn more at

Supporting women leaders

Later this month, I will participate in a keynote panel discussion at the Women in Leadership Conference hosted by the University of Missouri System. I’m honored to be selected for this panel and looking forward to hearing from five Missouri S&T leaders who will also be presenting on issues ranging from networking to maintaining a work-life balance. In the next issue of my newsletter, I’ll share some of my key takeaways from the conference.

Did you know?

With warmer weather finally here, don’t miss your opportunity to get out and enjoy all the Rolla region has to offer. Did you know the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, just south of us, offers 134 miles of some of the finest waterways you’ll find anywhere? Whether you prefer to float, hike or just explore by car, there is a lot to discover in our backyard. Click here for a list of ideas from the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Warmest regards,

Cheryl B. Schrader, Ph.D.
Follow on Twitter   Friend on Facebook   Forward to Friend   Missouri S&T News
Copyright © 2015 Missouri S&T, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences
Window size: x
Viewport size: x