There was a study conducted by Janice McCabe at Florida State University in 2011. She looked at over 6,000 children’s books from the past century and found that central characters in the books were female in less than one third. How does one counter this trend? Well, it seems other parents are finding it easy enough to switch the gender roles when reading stories to their kids. I don’t remember doing this with my daughter when she was younger, but here’s one writer’s story about Bilbo Baggins as a girl. Sounds like it works pretty well for some stories, too!
I don’t know whether to scream or sigh about this NPR story. Actually, I am very impressed with Emily Graslie, a science reporter who now works at the Chicago Field Museum and created a few videos to go along with this story. She is the host of “The Brain Scoop” which can be found on YouTube. And the Field Museum has a great page about Emily’s work within the museum context.
Now here’s a great idea! If your middle school is trying to support girls to learn and love technology, this grant program can help. It’s sponsored by the National Center for Women in IT. The program is called AspireIT and not only is NCWIT involved, there are a few other big players sponsoring the program — Intel, Google, and Northrup Grumman. One thing I love about the program is that it helps connect women in the field to middle school girls, so there’s that mentoring thing going on. Very cool.