Module 4: Women in STEM

Module Learning Objectives

  • Reframe the way they think about women in STEM by critiquing their own views and possible acquired stereotypes regarding science as a career path and scientists as professional role models (evaluate).
  • Identify at least three (3) prominent female STEM scientists of the past and some of their thoughts (knowledge).
  • Briefly describe the life, scientific discipline, and thoughts of at least one (1) female STEM scientist from the past (knowledge).
  • Recognize the positive impact of women, both past and present, on the overall evolution of STEM fields (knowledge).
  • Self-reflect and write down some of their core personal values, such as their passions, sources of inspiration, and causes (create).
  • Identify the different STEM careers currently available in relation to their personal interests (knowledge).
  • Defend the inclusion of more women in STEM fields in Europe by correlating inclusion with a positive social impact, both in terms of innovation and economic growth (evaluate).
  • Identify the most important measures, programs, and platforms available within Europe to facilitate women’s active participation in STEM fields (knowledge).
  • Categorize at least three (3) educational tools/platforms available in Europe with the aim of supporting female STEM students and professionals (analyze).
  • Correlate the benefits of lifelong learning and actively seeking opportunities as a path toward success (analyze).

Course Module Description

The aim of this module is to capitalize on the inspiring impact role models can have on youth to help female trainees feel motivated and confident about choosing careers in STEM fields. In this scope, the module has two objectives. First, it aims to help trainees reframe both the way they think of science and the way they think about themselves and their future in relation to STEM. Secondly, it aims to provide trainees with useful facts, data, tips, and opportunities related to accessing the STEM fields as European female citizens.

By exposing trainees to as many positive female role models as possible from the past and the present, the module aims to highlight the fact that scientific history has been and is being written by women and men alike. It also aims to help students disassociate their view of science from gender or lifestyle stereotypes. More importantly, the module’s design invites students to actively explore not only the scientific impact but also the experiences, thoughts, and points of inspiration of female scientists from various STEM disciplines. In this way, the module aspires to expose trainees to a more humane, accessible view of the science world and to invite them to reflect on whether they would enjoy entering this world on a personal level.

Last but not least, the module ends with a “call-to-action” section where trainees are asked to actively explore data related to accessibility for women in STEM in Europe and to catalogue practical advice and useful tools currently available in Europe for them to explore.

Keywords: Empowerment, Role models, STEM