Building Girls’ Confidence in STEM

Project Team

Over the past three years, this team has inspired students to change their own relationships with math both by building confidence, ownership and self-sufficiency in problem-solving and by building awareness of gender stereotypes and their potential impacts. Each year, the project team has planned and run a series of free workshops for middle school students who identified as female in an attempt to improve their math identity. Outside of the workshops, Duke team members have also worked together to plan activities, discuss their own ideas and approaches and build an increased awareness of gender stereotypes.

As the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the team from holding in-person workshops for middle school girls in 2020-2021, the team instead worked in six small groups on projects to continue forward progress. These project included: building a digital applet, updating the project website and maintaining a social media presence, performing data analysis to measure past program impact, streamlining past workshop lesson plans and developing future workshop activities, conducting a thorough literature review, and creating a survey instrument for local middle school students. In their work on these projects, students incorporated elements from their current research in topics like gender inequality in STEM, stereotypes, implicit bias, and imposter syndrome.

Improving Girls’ Math Identity through Problem Solving and Mentorship

Poster by Sophia Santiallan, Victoria Akin, Leah Metcalf, Samatha Dilley, Morgan Feist, Julia Helm, Sydney Hunt, Tayla Jeter, Tess Lipskey, Naomi Rubin, Miryam Rudolph, Ann Sawers, Anna Song, Caroline Tang, Michelle Yin

Research poster.