Cultivating Confidence in Teen Girls
According to an article in The Seattle Times “Girls often lose interest in math and science around fifth or sixth grade, not because they lack the ability but, for some, because their confidence lags. They don’t take challenging math or science classes in middle school and later find it hard to catch up.”
To combat this lack of confidence and to empower girls in their teen years, a group called G.A.M.E.S. (Girls Advancing in Math, Engineering and Science) has taken on the task of creating an electronic game that “has a more noble objective than destroying pigs with slingshot-flung birds or traveling through post-apocalyptic wastelands.”
This game will be geared towards teen girls with the intent to keep them “engrossed in math and science, nudging them toward careers in those fields, at that very time in their lives when they start to lose interest.”
“It’s a huge order,” said Karen Peterson, principal investigator of the National Girls Collaborative Project in an interview with The Seattle Times. “But I think we can do it.”
Tayloe Washburn, dean of Northeastern-Seattle originated the idea for this game. Washburn believes that a successful game could highlight the advantages of a career in STEM fields for young girls.
While the game is now only in the planning stages, the hope is to generate around 20 test games and “test the prototypes’ effectiveness exhaustively, then pick the best and roll them out in some easy-to-use platform, for little or no cost to the gamers.”