Why are women underrepresented in fields like computer science and engineering? When (and how) should educators focus on piquing the interest of girls in these fields? These are the questions that educator Kim Collazo and researcher Amanda Sullivan have dedicated their careers to answering. Register for Wonder Workshop’s upcoming webinar to hear how two women inspire their communities to confront this gender disparity head-on and make a lasting change in education and beyond.
My name is Kim Collazo and I have a passion for integrating the engineering design process and STEM activities into my students’ daily lives! A classroom teacher for more than twenty-five years, I have always looked for ways for my students to leverage technology to create rather than just consume. Four years ago I joined our team of Digital Integration Facilitators, and became immersed in the outstanding robotics and engineering program that our county provides for students Pre-K to 12th grade.
At Robbins Elementary, I teach STEM classes to all of our Pre-K through 5th grade students. I create engineering and coding lessons, co-teach, and provide professional development to help teachers seamlessly integrate various technology into the curriculum. We continue to convert our old computer lab into a wonderful STEM lab filled with robots, Virtual Reality, 3D printing, and other hands-on tools that help us address the curriculum and prepare our students for the future.
Our population is diverse and many of our students are just learning English. In addition to seeking the best ways to meet the needs of all students, I have always been interested in changing the perceptions and opportunities for our girls when it comes to STEM. I am dedicated to creating programs and activities that are helping all of our students, but especially our girls, develop the self-assuredness that they can become anything they want to be!
My name is Amanda Sullivan and I’m passionate about designing technologies and STEM curriculum for young children. I’m the Associate Director of the Early Childhood Technology program at Tufts University, where I work with educators from around the world on how to teach technology and engineering in developmentally appropriate and playful ways. I’m also a post-doctoral researcher at the Devtech Research Group, where I investigate gender differences in children’s experiences with robotics. In my new book, Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood I discuss how to boost girls’ confidence and interest in STEM.
My research is inspired by my own childhood. Growing up, I heard things like, “your brother is better at math because he’s a boy.” I remember sweaty palms and anxiety in my STEM classes. I never learned about female engineers or scientists. It wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered I could code, solder, and assemble robots- who knew?! More importantly, I gained confidence in myself and realized (for the first time) I was able to master technical skills. Nobody should wait as long as I did for that realization! I want girls – and all children – to be encouraged to pursue any passion and to believe in their ability to succeed.
Join the Conversation
Beginning in kindergarten, educators can ensure that children of any gender or background are given equal access to STEM. Not sure where to start? In this webinar we will share curriculum and research-based tips to transform your teaching. We’ll discuss new technologies and teaching strategies (including no-tech approaches!) that will inspire, excite, and engage the next generation of female scientists and engineers.
Find more resources for inspiring STEM learning.