Assessing and Improving Girls' and Women's Math Identity (2021-2022)

The gender gap in STEM fields exists at all levels, from childhood through career selection, and there are many different, but often related, causes for female underrepresentation. Two major causes of the gender gap are a significant disparity between men and women in their spatial reasoning skills and students’ math identity, represented by their beliefs, attitudes and emotions about math and STEM.

This project addressed these two major causes of the gender gap in STEM by planning and running a series of free workshops for middle school girls in Durham, designed to improve their math identity. These workshops, which were led by female-identifying undergraduate students on the team, accommodated students of all skill levels, encouraging them to solve rich, accessible problems using multiple approaches. The curriculum also included age-appropriate discussions about gender stereotypes and their impact.

Team members also analyzed survey data collected during previous years of the project to assess current beliefs among girls and women as they pertain to stereotypes, self-assessment and other issues related to gender and STEM.

project aims to address two major causes of the gender gap in STEM by planning and running a series of free workshops for middle school girls in Durham, designed to improve their math identity. Additionally, the project aims to assess current beliefs among girls and women as they pertain to stereotypes, self-assessment and other issues related to gender and STEM.

Timing

Fall 2021 – Summer 2022 

Team Outputs

Workshops to Improve STEM Confidence Among Girls in Durham (2022 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Assessing and Improving Girls’ and Women’s Math Identity (poster by Trinity Johnson and McKenna Vernon, presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 13, 2022)

This project team was originally part of the Education & Human Development theme of Bass Connections, which ended in 2022. See related teams, Assessing and Improving Girls' and Women's Math Identity (2022-2023) and Improving Girls’ Math Identity through Problem-solving and Mentorship (2020-2021).

 

Image courtesy of 2019-2020 project team

Math identity.

Team Leaders

  • Victoria Akin, Arts & Sciences-Mathematics
  • Suzanne Crifo, Academic Resource Center
  • Sophia Santillan, Pratt School of Engineering-Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Sarah Chang, Visual and Media Studies (AB), Mathematics (BS2)
  • Chloe Derocher, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Adrianna Diaz
  • Morgan Feist, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE), Computer Science (BSE2)
  • Jacklyn Herzberg
  • Trinity Johnson
  • Gargi Mahadeshwar
  • Mia Malden
  • Nadeska Montalvan
  • Leila Nelson, Computer Science (BS)
  • Bailey Patrick, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Morgan Robertson, Economics (BS), Public Policy Studies (AB2)
  • Sydney Simmons, Psychology (BS), Neuroscience (AB2)
  • McKenna Vernon
  • Daniella Welton, Economics (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Martha Putallaz, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Lauren Valentino, The Ohio State University
  • Christina L. Williams, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Elizabeth Moffitt, Durham Public Schools