Presentation Title

The potential of socio-biologically relevant mobile apps to attract girls to STEM

Start

1-31-2019 1:30 PM

End

1-31-2019 2:45 PM

Short Description

Research indicates that most girls show an interest in STEM at 11.5 years of age but this starts to wane by the age of 15. One of the reasons cited is a lack of hands-on experience with practical STEM-related issues. Free/ low-cost mobile apps that provide opportunities to grapple with real-world societal problems or address female biological concerns, can offer ways to sustain and even enhance girls’ interest in STEM during these crucial years.

Abstract

STEM is more than an acronym for studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It emphasizes a blurring of boundaries among these disciplines by focusing on real-world and designed-world issues. Research shows that girls are attracted to STEM if the content is socio-biologically meaningful in their lives. In this strategy, world-wide prevalence of the mobile phone and increasingly cost-effective mobile technology are capitalized show the centrality of STEM in dealing with practical problems such as global warming and sustainability as well as in addressing female biological concerns like teen pregnancy and menstruation. Appropriate mobile apps can provide girls with hands-on experience that could potentially stimulate or even enhance their interest in STEM and prepare them for STEM-related programs and careers. Relevant examples are presented below.

Earth Now is a three-dimensional, free mobile app developed by NASA. It displays real-time satellite data on global climate change in terms of variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, water vapor, surface air temperature and sea-level.

Offset, one of NASA’s latest educational games, engages the player in finding ways of reducing global warming caused by the carbon cycle or carbon sources, using reforestation and alternative energy sources to decrease carbon emissions.

Girl Talk is a mobile app that creates awareness among teenage girls about aspects of their anatomy, physiology, sexuality, physical relationships and measures of protection from sexually transmitted infections.

The Natural Cycles mobile app indicates if a woman is fertile on a particular day, based on her body temperature in the morning. For a girl with a regular 28-day reproductive cycle, it can be used to warn against intercourse on days when she is fertile and days when she can enjoy safe, unprotected sex. The app can help one understand the science of menstrual cycle, reproduction and birth control. These could empower young girls with diverse knowledge to take informed decisions.

Format

Concurrent Session

Institutional level targeted

K-12

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Jan 31st, 1:30 PM Jan 31st, 2:45 PM

The potential of socio-biologically relevant mobile apps to attract girls to STEM

STEM is more than an acronym for studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It emphasizes a blurring of boundaries among these disciplines by focusing on real-world and designed-world issues. Research shows that girls are attracted to STEM if the content is socio-biologically meaningful in their lives. In this strategy, world-wide prevalence of the mobile phone and increasingly cost-effective mobile technology are capitalized show the centrality of STEM in dealing with practical problems such as global warming and sustainability as well as in addressing female biological concerns like teen pregnancy and menstruation. Appropriate mobile apps can provide girls with hands-on experience that could potentially stimulate or even enhance their interest in STEM and prepare them for STEM-related programs and careers. Relevant examples are presented below.

Earth Now is a three-dimensional, free mobile app developed by NASA. It displays real-time satellite data on global climate change in terms of variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, water vapor, surface air temperature and sea-level.

Offset, one of NASA’s latest educational games, engages the player in finding ways of reducing global warming caused by the carbon cycle or carbon sources, using reforestation and alternative energy sources to decrease carbon emissions.

Girl Talk is a mobile app that creates awareness among teenage girls about aspects of their anatomy, physiology, sexuality, physical relationships and measures of protection from sexually transmitted infections.

The Natural Cycles mobile app indicates if a woman is fertile on a particular day, based on her body temperature in the morning. For a girl with a regular 28-day reproductive cycle, it can be used to warn against intercourse on days when she is fertile and days when she can enjoy safe, unprotected sex. The app can help one understand the science of menstrual cycle, reproduction and birth control. These could empower young girls with diverse knowledge to take informed decisions.