The black girl experience is a unique one. While they have their own set of challenges, black girls are also resilient. In fact, many are thriving despite the odds. Black girls have been beating the odds since they first arrived on this continent as enslaved people. They’ve excelled intellectually in spite of being denied access to education, been forced into substandard schools because of their race and being stereotyped as less capable than other students. While the challenges for black girls often revolve around society’s perceptions of them, there are ways we can encourage them in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). Here are ways to Encourage Black Girls in Math. Teaching black girls about their own history in math is importance. Remind them of a woman like Katherine Johnson, a black woman whose work at NASA helped put a man on the moon.
Create a Safe Space for Confidence Building and Exploration
One of the most important things you can do for black girls is to create a safe space for them to explore and build confidence in their own abilities. Building Confidence in Math and Science – When we tell girls that they aren’t good at math or science, we actually make them less likely to pursue those fields later on. Studies show that telling girls they aren’t as good at math results in lower test scores when compared to boys. – Studies show that black girls are less likely than white girls to believe they can be successful in math. – When girls have encouragement, they are more likely to have higher test scores. – When you affirm that black girls are brilliant and capable, you are giving them the tools they need to succeed.
Provide Opportunities to Practice Math and Science
As you provide a safe space to build confidence, make sure there are opportunities for them to practice math and science skills. – Make sure there is a computer in your home that your black girls can use. Black girls often have less access to computers than their white peers. – Be sure there are books in the home that teach math and science. Reading about black women who excel in STEM fields can help your black girls to see themselves within the pages. – Provide opportunities for your black girls to explore science experiments, such as making slime or growing a garden. – Make sure that your black girls have access to the same academic opportunities as their peers. This might mean finding a tutor or therapist who understands the black girl experience. – Push for more black women to be visible in science. This can include donating to organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers or Society of Black Engineers.
Be Visible Role Models
The more black women you have visible in STEM fields, the more likely black girls are to see themselves there. – The first step to increasing the visibility of black women in STEM fields is hiring them. If you are in charge of hiring staff in STEM fields, make sure you hire black women. – When black women are in leadership roles, they are more visible to black girls. This can help to dispel the idea that black women don’t excel in STEM fields. – When you have black women visible as role models in STEM fields, it shows that excellence is not limited to a particular race or gender. – If you are a black woman in STEM, you can also make an effort to be seen by black girls. This can include taking part in events that celebrate black girls or STEM fields. – You can also make an effort to befriend black girls up through the age of 18. This can include offering to tutor black students or volunteering to work at your local library.
Be Honest About the Struggle of Being a Black Woman in STEM
It is important that you be honest with your black girls about the challenges they will face as black women in STEM fields, but also that you show them how to navigate those challenges. – Make sure to talk to your black girls about microaggressions. This includes racist statements or actions that make black girls feel inferior. – Encourage your black girls to seek out mentors who can help them navigate the challenges they face as black women in STEM fields. – Be honest about the unique challenges that black girls face in STEM fields. This can include the fact that black girls are often underrepresented in STEM fields and are often paid less than their white peers. – Be honest about the fact that black girls are often judged based on their appearance. This can include being told they aren’t capable enough to excel in STEM fields because of their race.
Talk about the importance of math and science
Math and science are critical to the world we live in. – Math is the language of science. This means that we depend on math to create technologies that can help us to solve problems. – Science is the process by which we discover new things about our world. – Science and math are critical to the success of our modern world, and they are also excellent career choices for black girls. – Science and math fields are growing industries and there are plenty of jobs available to black women in these fields.
Black girls are brilliant and capable, and they deserve to be celebrated as such. When you encourage black girls in math and science, you are helping them to reach their full potential. There are many challenges that black girls face when it comes to excelling in STEM fields, but there are ways we can help. This can include celebrating black women in STEM fields, providing opportunities for practice, creating a safe space for confidence building and exploration, providing visible role models, being honest about the challenges black girls face, and talking about the importance of math and science.