Developing Gender Bias
Use role-models to change STEM biases and self-belief
Changing early learning of implicit math biases
Grades 2-7 are an important period for acquiring foundational math and science skills. Importantly, at this age children also begin to implicitly associate math and science with boys. Girls who learn these biases come to question their own ability. Fortunately, exposing kids to positive role models can change these biases and boost girls’ math performance, without adversely affecting boys.
Project CLIMB will test the impact of long-term contact with positive role models on girls’ STEM engagement. Working in partnership with Science World, we will identify several interventions that are effective in changing gender bias and susceptibility to stereotype threat among boys and girls aged 7-12. In one study, the Project CLIMB team will assess the impact of exposure and connection to successful female scientists through participation in Super Science Club. This nine-week program is run by a mix of male and female Science World staff in local schools. We will compare the Super Science Club group to children not participating in Super Science Club and to an Enhanced Role Model group with only female science facilitators and added exercises designed to foster a sense of connection to those role models.
In a second study, we will examine whether personally interacting with successful women in STEM (through Science World’s Meet-a-Scientist program) is more impactful in reducing implicit gender biases for boys and girls than merely learning about successful female scientists in simple stories or having no exposure to role models.
Photo Credit: Engineering Science Quest
The Project CLIMB team combines expertise in the science of implicit gender bias, bias reduction, and STEM outreach.
Project CLIMB proudly partners with the University of British Columbia, Science World, University of Waterloo, Actua, Engineering Science Quest (ESQ), Geering UP, Engineers Canada, the Engineering Change Lab, the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering (ONWiE), the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), and the National Network of NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering.
Changing the Learning of Implicit Math Biases
Promoting Rising Inclusion and STEM Motivation
Shaping Inclusive Network Cultures
Realizing Identity Safe Environments