Encouraging female students in STEM subjects is an ongoing challenge. Girls and women gravitate toward communications, literature, arts, and marketing due to social conformities. However researchers from Clemson University are reviewing how to improve the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM section of the brain. They have discovered that with female students dancing videogames may be the key
Findings were published in the journal Technology, Knowledge, and Learning. The researchers found that by engaging females students through virtual dance software, they improved their computer skills.
Research shows that girls are seldom encouraged at young ages to encourage math and science fields, and this lack of encouragement ultimately destroys confidence in the ability to have success. Currently, women hold only 27 percent of all computer science jobs. That number has remained stagnant for many years. If children are told that an activity is not for girls, either directly or through inference, then they don’t have encouragement to win and succeed in a boy’s field. Now that the demand for STEM jobs is growing, the damage to women and girls is more readily seen.
“We want more diverse faces around the table, helping to come up with technological solutions to societal issues,” the study’s lead author Shaundra Daily assistant professor of computing at Clemson, said in a press release. “So we’re working with girls to create more pathways to support their participation. We adopt the view that computational thinking is a set of concepts, practices, and perspectives that draw upon the world of computing and applicable in many STEM fields.”
Daily and her team designed special software for ladies called the Virtual Environment Interactions (VEnvl), which allowed them to sync their body movements’ with the computer. Fifth- and sixth-grade girls were tested with the novel technology that required them to create a virtual character in a three-dimensional environment.