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STEM Program for Girls to Expand With Private Grant

OK, with a name like High-Tech High Heels, I can't resist blogging about a program that just received a $413,000 grant from the Texas Instruments Foundation to expand its work in preparing girls to pursue STEM degrees.

Launched in 2001 by 30 female executives at Texas Instruments, the High-Tech High Heels program provides "gender equity" training for educators, STEM career workshops for counselors, and AP Physics camps for high school girls. The new grant, announced today, will go to the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation to manage and expand access to the program in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

This action comes at a time when promoting STEM education among girls has become an important goal of policymakers and experts. Earlier this month, I blogged about a new federal report which concluded that women are still "vastly underrepresented" in STEM jobs and among STEM degree-holders in the United States. Only one in seven engineers is female, for example, it says. And on the employment front, women have seen no growth in STEM jobs since 2000.

Meanwhile, here's a, well, unusual take on the gender gap in STEM. As reported over at Inside Higher Ed, researcher Lora Park at SUNY Buffalo is about to publish a series of research projects she led suggesting that when college-age women think about romance, they become less interested in studying STEM fields. College-age men, however, can get interested in romance without any impact on their engagement with math and science.

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