1. Alicia Santiago
  2. Science Advisor & Latino Engagement Specialist
  4. TPT Twin Cities Public Television
  1. Brenda Britsch
  2. Sr. Research Scientist
  4. National Girls Collaborative Project, TPT Twin Cities Public Television
  1. Angie Prindle
  2. Series Producer, SciGirls
  4. TPT Twin Cities Public Television

Latina SciGirls: Promoting Middle School-Age Hispanic Girls' Positive STEM Id...

NSF Awards: 1515507

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Informal / multi-age

With more than 54 million individuals, the Hispanic population is now the United States’ largest ethnic minority group. Latinas are the largest group of minority females, constituting 8% of the population. However, only 2 percent of Latinas held science and engineering positions in 2015, as reported by the NSF and in 2017 NCWIT reported that Latinas made up only 1 percent of the computing workforce. SciGirls is rooted in research-based strategies proven to engage girls in STEM and in the need to address specific barriers that prevent many girls from engaging in STEM, including limited exposure to role models. Research shows that young Latinas have high interest in STEM but have less support and exposure to STEM professionals than their non-Latinx peers. Role models are critical for minority students, for even those who do well in STEM often struggle to identify with STEM fields because they cannot find connections to their lives.

To address this challenge, SciGirls created a series of twelve short-form role model profiles of diverse Latina STEM professionals for use in educational settings. These Latinas are innovators, problem-solvers and science superstars who celebrate their heritage and culture. They’re passionate about their work, hobbies, families and helping to make the world a better place. They share their strategies and pathways in jobs where Latinas are under-represented, and motivate girls to pursue all kinds of interests and career paths. The series feature Latinas in a variety of professions including technology, engineering, biology, ecology, medicine and geoarcheology.

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