From 7% To 39% Females in HS STEM Program
Join us on the journey of a STEM program as it grew from a low functioning existence and then began to include all students which helped it become an exemplar locally and nationally. See the steps taken and hear from alumni in a fun and informative video. Doug Scott is the department head of grades 6-12 Business/Tech/Engineering in Hopkinton MA. He led a group of students and educators to develop a program that was more welcoming, inclusive and rigorous for all members of the school community, including female members which had been drastically underrepresented. Through the recruitment of female students, mentors, staff members and vast improvements to curriculum, programming and events the department under Scott's leadership was able to grow from 7% female enrollment to 39% enrollment in just six years. This change spurred a tremendous amount of success for all members of the program's courses and clubs. The Hopkinton High School BTE department is now a cornerstone of the high school's offerings for students.
See Yourself in STEM
Great job Doug. It is inspiring to see how you get all students to see themselves in STEM. I would love to see you in action!
In reply to See Yourself in STEM by Jennifer Donais
Of course Jenn, we should do a swap and see each other in our schools. We are not too far from each other.
Thanks for the kind words.
STEM for women
Fantastic program that supports STEM interest and confidence in the women in your school. (And I loved the music from Annie Get Your Gun to Queen.) Your video mentions how your work with the women helps them. Is there any part of the program that teachers the young men how to encourage the women's participation?
In reply to STEM for women by Arthur Eisenkraft
Thanks Arthur. Throughout the work that we do there are frequent mentions and examples provided about the importance of a diverse workforce/team on their projects. Over the years the success of these teams/projects has helped emphasize that. Before selecting partners each project, there is a discussion about diverse skillsets, viewpoints, backgrounds and importantly assessing if a candidate possesses the four letter word "work" ethic :) A good life lesson as well for kids to realize that as they get out in the world that these qualities matter. So far the successes and opening of eyes has been the encouraging part for all....choose people that help you do well no matter if they are "different" than you...in fact better that they are! Glad you liked the music as well :)
Girls in Engineering
This is a great achievement! We have started to implement actions to increase the number of girls in the technology department. Discussing with colleagues in other schools and organisations, they mentioned an all-girls classroom approach. This is not something I had in mind initially, but it was well received when we organised one-off sessions, but would this make sense on a permanent basis? Students seem to think it does...
In reply to Girls in Engineering by Stephen Devisme
Hi Stephen. Thanks so much for your post. We did in fact implement an all girls robotics team for a season. This was based on a genuine discussion with some of our students who wanted some space. My attitude was that whatever it took to get kids involved was ok with me. In time things naturally blended. Our female CS teacher also runs a Girls Who Code program and those students also expressed a desire to have some space of their own...but they have begun to run events with our general coding club. Again, whatever it took to get the ball rolling. We have gotten to the point where it is not so much girl boy etc...but programmer, engineer.
In reply to Option by Doug Scott
Wish there was a like button for this!
As my son would say, "smash that like button!" That's amazing that you had an all-girls robotics team!!
Excellent selection of music, Doug! (And of course, great message as well!)
I wonder, have you encountered any challenges during the journey? (from students, parents, teachers, and/or community) And if so, how have you overcome those challenges? What advice would you give to those who are facing similar challenges?
In reply to Thanks, Doug! by Elegan Kramer
Hi Elegan. Yes many, I have…
Hi Elegan. Yes many, I have been told it was wrong to have a girls robotics team for a season, told it was wrong to have a girls STEM day. I took the hits as I had a vision for what it could be. I had also done this in a previous district and had seen similar growth so we rolled :). My advice is sometimes doing the right thing for kids is not always popular or easy but if you have the kids as the focus and a long term goal stick to it.
In reply to Hi Elegan. Yes many, I have… by Doug Scott
Thanks, Doug! It's amazing how you're leading this change, one district at a time ;)
And I agree -- patience, having a tough skin, and having 'cheerleaders' and experience on your side are very helpful when leading change. Cheers to doing what's right for the kids!
Doug, what a great video! I loved the growing theme in it.
I am curious as to the steps you took in order to increase that engagement. What a huge accomplishment! Did it start with one and then grew or were there strategies you employed to increase interest and encourage?
In reply to Inspirational! by Doug Hodum
Hi Doug: It really began…
Hi Doug: It really began with recruiting. I recruited the few female students I had in class to participate in after school activites and to also help facilitate some special events to recruit others. Also we had a few boys who helped get things started. They were students that had given up on the program previously because kids were not getting along and not making any progress. Pretty soon the boys and girls combined efforts to help me run events, recruit, start up a robotics team. It was a team efffort.
I love the musical! Your message is inspirational with girl power. I would love to see the number increase in special education students' involvement too. Have you consider the possibility?
In reply to Thank you! by Diana Aston
Hi Diana: Thanks so much. Yes we are on it. Our department and programs are wide open to any student that would like to engage. We have a number of special education students in the courses and clubs. With the topics and things we work on it creates a high level of engagement in which students of many backgrounds and abilities are successful. I also stay two hours almost everyday after school throughout the year in order to offer our students a workspace to scaffold, extend or extra time on task in order to grow and be successful.
Doug! So nice to "see" you…
So nice to "see" you again after meeting in DC earlier this year -- and especially wonderful to see a video that tells such an inspiring story.
It really is true that more diverse spaces make more wonderful ideas take root. Your video reminds me of a WONDERFUL book by mathematician and educator Eugenia Cheng called x + y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender. I hope folks who are interested in further explanations of what makes your collaborative spaces so inviting will check it out!
We, too, are trying to figure out how to improve inclusion of folks with disabilities into our STEM programs -- for us, the secret has been different robotics programs so there are lots of entry points!
:) Kirstin (who also has a video in this showcase)
In reply to Doug! So nice to "see" you… by Kirstin Milks
Hi Kirstin, nice to see you again for sure. For us finding topics/curriculum of interest to all was the key. Obviously not every student is always going to be super thrilled with a unit, but overall a course should hook everyone to a fairly high level. Glad you are doing something similar down your way, keep up the strong work!
ALL are the champions in…
ALL are the champions in your program..:)). I really enjoyed listening to the student testimonials - impactful engagement was obvious. Do you have HS female students mentor others in the lower levels?
In reply to ALL are the champions in… by Douglas Baltz
Hi Doug...thanks so much. A…
Hi Doug...thanks so much. A lot of work but worth it. Yes our high school students mentor younger students throughout the district. It is beginning to be even more fun because the kids we have now were mentored...and now they are the big shots!
Hi Doug, What a great job…
What a great job you did showing the "then and now." The music was perfectly chosen, as well:). I would love to connect with you and Jenn, as we are not too far from each other. I am always looking for mentors for my younger students, and ways for them to see what is beyond our K-8 school for them.
In reply to Hi Doug, What a great job… by Rebecca Cummings
Thank you Rebecca...sure thing you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I really love and appreciate how you thought through each aspect of the academic process, such as the environment, classroom culture, educators, and outside role models. Really ALL students benefited from that makeover! It will be so exciting to see the continued growth and long-term outcomes because of this incredible transformation.
In reply to Wow! by Jodi Zeis
Thank you Jodi. It took a…
Thank you Jodi. It took a monumental shift in all phases...but in reality that is what it takes. We continue to grow and challenge ourselves to improve :) I get tired just watching what we had to do :)